A few years ago, I wrote a post describing all the things that avowed Primal eaters can learn from p...
I get several dozen emails every day asking health and fitness questions. I try to respond to as many as I can. Often, readers will write in with similar questions, so I’ve decided that I’ll collect the multiples, as well as the toughest questions, each week and post my responses here. (First names only for confidentiality.) Let me know if this is a helpful feature for you. I’m game for just about anything that will benefit you, so don’t hesitate to contact me with suggestions. Reader Ben wrote: You’ve mildly badmouthed soy milk and tofu on your site many times, usually citing processing as your biggest gripe. But what if I did this “processing” myself? Is Big Tofu doing something insidious that I could avoid doing myself? Real soy milk is basically just whole soybeans that are boiled, mashed, and strained. To get tofu, just take the real soy milk and add nigari (rinsed sea salt). Would the mostly-healthy status of soybeans be preserved by doing this? Big Tofu, I like that. Yes, my general beef with soy has to do with the processing. I think most can probably agree that just about any healthy, natural food, from fruit and vegetables to a humble soybean, can be and often is reconstituted into many less-than-desirable food products. My general rule: eat food, not food products. But there is a bit of a dark side to soy food production, which you can read more about here. I’m not really “against” soy milk; I think organic, unsweetened non-GMO soy milk is certainly no worse for you than dairy milk and possibly better. And making your own tofu? I think that seems like a very healthful proposition. Let’s remember that as “bad” as soybeans might be (this week), dairy is a food that nature intends for hoofers, not humans. I know many of you eat dairy, and some of you are fans of raw dairy. I think there’s plenty of room for individual preference. To anyone who worries about the phytoestrogens (plant hormones) in soy, while I share those concerns to a limited extent, remember that regular old dairy – even organic dairy – is loaded with bovine hormones. Soy milk consumption hasn’t created the epidemic of man-boobs that paranoid souls everywhere feared (but then neither has regular milk). I understand the other health concerns about soy, and while I am mindful of those concerns, I feel there are other far more pressing dietary concerns, such as sugar, trans fat and heavy food processing in general. I’m not in favor of heavily processed soy foods, but a little lightly-processed or fermented soy food, especially made organically or at home? Sounds great to me. (I often discuss “marginal nutrition” issues here at the blog. I think soy is one of them. By marginal nutrition, I mean that first science reveals a potential health benefit of some food, and before you know it, every food company on God’s green earth is injecting said food into myriad … Continue reading “Stump Sisson Friday”Read More
Last week the gang reviewed the basic varieties of tea. Tea is a naturally therapeutic beverage and I want to quickly highlight some of its important medicinal properties. Unlike many “herbal therapies” that I tend to be pretty leary of, tea has a well-documented multitude of health benefits. Though I do have a weakness for a morning cup of mud (but that’s between you and me), a daily cup of green tea is a wise habit to incorporate into your health regimen. I’ve been alternating between a glass of red and a cup of green tea with dinner lately for a well-rounded daily antioxidant boost.
Five excellent preventive benefits of green tea:
3. Cardiovascular health
5. A wide variety of other health issues
The pros: A handy reference
The cons: Mayo Clinic gives green tea a “ho-hum”
Never underestimate the lengths food companies will go to in order to tap into health trends:
This is Selva’s Flickr Photo
More Smart Fuel
What I eat in a typical dayRead More
WORKER BEES’ DAILY BITES
Aspirin and fish are two health topics that get plenty of coverage. Just when you read the latest studies that command you to shun all things pill and pisces, another round tells you to take the opposite tack. We’re dishing all the latest research. And for simultaneous comic relief and health insights, you’ll enjoy the link to a debunker who is taking on…the debunkers.
Aspirin: What a Pill
Plenty of authoritative medical studies and organizations recommend taking aspirin for various health issues ranging from heart disease to cancer. Other studies find fault with this OTC drug. Today, European scientists are calling for better investigation into the dangers of aspirin. One problem with OTC drugs is that they are often taken in excess of the recommended dosages. Our observation (certainly not original, but worth stating): OTC drugs are still drugs, and it’s vital to exercise caution and do your homework. Many hospital visits are due to overdoses and interactions from “harmless” OTC drugs.
Fish: Scientists Still Flip-Flopping
While fish consumption does present concerns (mercury! sustainable harvesting!) one thing is now conclusive: fish oil is a more effective source of essential fatty acids than olive oil, nuts and plant oils.
This is Laurelfan’s Flickr Photo. We enjoy wild-caught salmon, too!
But Who Will Debunk the Debunkers?
Anssi Manninen, that’s who (via Bodybuilding.com). This is a pretty interesting and entertaining piece calling nutritional “debunkers” on the their own apparently misguided advice.
[tags] OTC drug safety, aspirin, fish oil [/tags]
More Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
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Short answer: probably a lot longer than you want. Long answer: I tend to cover a lot of nutrition, food marketing and diet issues, but fitness is also a crucial factor in overall health, so I’m eager to discuss exercise issues in greater detail. Truth is I spend a fair amount of time coaching, speaking and writing in the fitness world, particularly triathlon but weight loss to some extent. Exercise is a vital component of not just weight loss and weight management, but stress relief, energy, sleep, aging, disease prevention, bone health, and on and on it goes…but it’s easy (and maybe more fun) to exclusively focus on the nutrition and diet issues and forget that we have to move our lazy buns once in a while. Leaving exercise out of the wellness equation is far more destructive to your health than any number of diet “sins” you might commit. Notwithstanding the fact that I believe our standard American diet is largely responsible for most of our health problems and most common causes of death, the importance of exercise cannot be overstated. We don’t exercise for many reasons. Eating is not a habit, but a necessity. After all, no one really forgets to eat for very long. And it’s usually rather enjoyable to change food selections and to modify our diets for the better, for we get immediate psychological rewards: control, accomplishment, tangibility. Exercise is also a necessity, but as it’s no longer integral to our daily lives – few people plow an acre of sod nowadays – it feels like a chore. No one likes a chore, and establishing a chore as an ingrained habit is tough. Life’s rewards require elbow grease, and that will never change. If exercise were easy or yielded quick results, I suppose everyone would be doing it. Exercise is certainly worth the effort, and not in spite of the challenge, but because it is a challenge. The long-term health rewards of exercise – outside of the brief blast of endorphins following your workout – are not always initially apparent and certainly not immediate. If we don’t view exercise as an unpleasant chore, we view it as a means to an end: getting a leaner or sexier body. Those fitness infomercials feature guys with six-packs and Christie Brinkley for a reason – we all want to look like that. But the reality is that even the fittest folks are not necessarily going to end up looking “like that”. You can only maximize what you’ve got. I believe that we have to stop thinking of exercise as a vanity tool and remember that it’s simply a basic necessity of life. This doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be excited about using exercise to lose weight if you hope to shed some extra pounds. But we fall off the proverbial treadmill over and over again because we’re getting on it for the wrong reasons in the first place – exercise is about far more than weight loss. So, how … Continue reading “How Long Do I Have to Exercise Before I See Changes?”Read More
WORKER BEES’ DAILY BITES
Soft Drinks Disrupt Your DNA
Yikes! Even diet soda is unhealthy for you.
What’s It Like to Go Global?
The complex and interesting web of global food production.
Is Cancer a Virus?
Is cancer a virus, a fungus, an autoimmune disorder, a collection of symptoms? Oncology just got a lot more complicated.
Web it out:
The Strange History of Cheese
What Are Gourmet Chefs Up to These Days? Foie gras ice cream and truffle popsicles, apparently. This is a fascinating picture-filled piece about avant garde culinary feats.
We’ve gotten some really nice feedback and reviews in the last few days. First, Highlight Health (a very spiffy health site from a biochemist blogger) was kind enough to add us to the blogroll. Then, Eating Fabulous, our favorite nutrition blog, gave us some love, and next, the original Daily Apple (yes, turns out, there is another!) reviewed us. The other Daily Apple covers all kinds of topics, but naturally we dug into the health posts, and we were really impressed. The health articles are all very useful, clear, and similar in format: an interesting introduction, a helpful list of points, and plenty of good references for every single topic discussed (a very nice thing indeed). And seize-the-health-by-the-horns Kevin was nice enough to nominate us for a Blogger’s Choice Award! Thank you so much, everyone, for the encouragement and support.
[tags] blogging, global food production, cheese, gourmet food, health blogs, soda, DNA [/tags]
More Worker Bees’ Daily Bites
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Hi everyone! As you know I’m always scanning the web for the latest healthy developments in Web 2.0. Though I’ve retired Aaron’s Additions in favor of Aaron’s Awards (because who doesn’t love a good laugh now and then?), I can’t help but be impressed by the insane popularity of fatblogging. I want to highlight fatblogging because I am such a big fan of positive social trends. Though I rant from time to time, ultimately it’s the positive healthy developments that get me the most excited. I spent all weekend checking out literally hundreds of inspiring, funny, excellent, and, well, not-so-excellent fatblogs. I am including my favorites here because I want to provide a little inspiration to you if you’re feeling compelled to make a change to your waistline or your health (or both!). These people prove that it can be done. The coolest thing about this? You’ve got a whole network of support ready to go! If you want to lose weight, consider joining the fatblogging phenomenon. There’s a whole web of friendliness there for the asking.
Peanut Blog and Jelly
Half of Me
Weight of the Evidence
The Incredible Shrinking Ladies
Blogging While Fat
U-Turn: My Journey To Health
Confessions of a Jersey Girl
Losing a Hundredweight
Once Upon a Diet
The Shrinking Knitter
Once Upon a Fat Girl
Lose Weight With Me
The Grumpy Chair Dieter
Color Me Fit
Actually, I’m NOT Pregnant
Someday Is Now
Kim Under Construction
Fat for now… thin 4 life!
The Daily Struggle
One Pound at a Time
Body of Work
Diary of a Fat, Angry Woman
Fat Bloke Gets Fit!
A Weight Lifted
Fatty Weight Loss
Share your favorite weight loss blog with fellow readers, or tell us what you think about the fatblog trend in the forum!
[tags]fat, weight loss, diet, blogs, fatblogs, fatblogging, web 2.0[/tags]