Is cheese healthy? I get asked this question a lot, and I do want to preface it by stating that if there were a definitive answer, we’d probably know it by now. I’m not a big dairy advocate, especially not in light of the way so much of it is processed and manipulated to death, but I don’t completely avoid cheese, either. My personal view of cheese is that it’s on the “okay” list. I eat it occasionally, but it’s not a major source of my calories. But let’s consider the issue further. This post is by no means the last word on cheese, but I hope these thoughts will be helpful to you if you’re debating whether or not to keep cheese in your diet. (And I welcome your thoughts as always. Even you vegans.)
A prescient excerpt from the Times – it’s what we’ve been saying all along:
“In the case of fatty foods, that confident voice belonged to Ancel Keys, a prominent diet researcher a half-century ago (the K-rations in World War II were said to be named after him). He became convinced in the 1950s that Americans were suffering from a new epidemic of heart disease because they were eating more fat than their ancestors.
There were two glaring problems with this theory, as Mr. Taubes, a correspondent for Science magazine, explains in his book. First, it wasn’t clear that traditional diets were especially lean. Nineteenth-century Americans consumed huge amounts of meat; the percentage of fat in the diet of ancient hunter-gatherers, according to the best estimate today, was as high or higher than the ratio in the modern Western diet.
Shrimp have long been on the average dietitian’s “bad” list. The belief was that lobster, crabs, clams, shrimp and other shellfish were high in cholesterol, and therefore detrimental to cardiovascular health. But according to the L.A. Times, the oft-cited information is completely wrong. Accurate measurements reveal that shellfish – even shrimp – are quite low in cholesterol.
Akay Flickr Photo (CC)
The BBC reports that fatty liver (as presented in the journal Obesity) is a growing yet silent epidemic affecting adults and, increasingly, children. Between one-quarter and one-half of all overweight children have fatty liver, which typically goes undetected and can be fatal. The causes of fatty liver vary, but scientists have found that the primary factor in the rapidly increasing caseload is our refined grain/starch-based diet.
Here’s what we’re talking about this morning, gang. We want your two cents’ worth on:
Though you only need a few minutes’ exposure, here’s yet another compelling reason to get a little sunshine daily if you are able to take advantage of it. Vitamin D appears to help prevent both breast and colon cancer, and doctors say the best source is natural sunlight. Experts disagree about ideal exposure times. Fair-skinned recommendations range from 3 minutes to 15 minutes, while darker-skinned individuals may be fine with up to an hour of sunlight daily. Don’t fry to a crisp, though – and a tanning bed is not the same thing.
I am excited to introduce you to one of Mark?s Daily Apple’s favorite authors. His name is Sandor Katz (you can call him Sandorkraut), and he is a self-proclaimed fermentation fetishist, herbalist and food activist. In just two books he has inspired us to try our hand at creating our very own savory seed sauerkraut, and to (further) challenge the practices and tactics of multinational food conglomerates.
Busted! High fructose corn syrup is incredibly cheap, partly because the U.S. government artificially fixes sugar prices and partly because corn is heavily subsidized (not so much “free market” anymore as “free lunch”). Clearly, your federal government loves you and hopes you get obesity and diabetes really soon so you can take advantage of all the great medical care that we don’t have.
High fructose corn syrup is also terrible for you, and not even the most conservative of nutrition experts disagrees with that. While there are a few slightly more terrible liquids out there – lighter fluid, for example – it’s really a shame that the “foods” available to us are so commonly laced with HFCS. And it’s even worse that they’re often promoted as being suitable for a healthy lifestyle or weight loss! They may look very cute, but beneath the fiber sprinkles and happy labeling lurks the heart of darkness. Really.
55 Billion Goes to:
School lunch & breakfast programs
WIC (Women, Infants, & Children)
Other food and health programs
127 Billion Goes to:
Corporate funding (direct & indirect)
Grants to Fortune 500 companies
Big Agra subsidies (including sugar)
References: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
School Vending Machines
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What we really need more of is drinkable grains.
As if most beverages weren’t already liquid grains, the food producers of America are uniting once again to help you in your quest for diabetes (or at least a respectable gut). Since everyone knows that grains are super healthy, you can expect the trend of grain-based drinks to continue.
That’s according to a report from Food Processing, which notes that in recent years we’ve seen the rise of alternatives to dairy (not a bad thing – sorry, Big Moo). Almond milk, soy milk and rice milk have become popular, but even hemp milk is an option these days.
Of course, the marketing trend of drinkable grains is not entirely accurate, as most of these non-dairy beverages are actually made from nuts and beans. So, if you’re really concerned about drinking your grains, you’ll be relieved to know that things like soda, beer, and energy drinks are already made from grains! That’s right. Drinkable grains are not really news, as it turns out, because we’ve already had them for a long time!
The bottom line: you can enjoy all the beverages you love and still get plenty of grains in your diet.
How, you ask? Well, silly, because corn is a grain! Many people think corn is a vegetable. It is not. Corn is a delightful grain completely lacking in vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and protein. It’s pretty superficial, and I dig that. Even better, the type of sweetener manufacturers make from this most excellent kernel corrodes your arteries and raises your blood sugar. What’s uber rad is that this sweetener – high fructose corn syrup – is in pretty much everything, so you don’t even have to look for it. No, seriously, everything: sauces, syrups, spreads, drinks, snacks, candies, fruit snacks, juices, sodas, frozen foods, and desserts. Everything!
I found this chocolate fudge cola at my local grocery store. Score! I am totally gonna be drinking my grains now!
To get your daily recommended intake of grains – you need at least 6, remember – you can do the following:
– Drink 3 Coca-Colas
– Eat 1 donut and 2 cupcakes, or 1 cupcake and 2 donuts, or 1.5 donuts and 1.5 cupcakes
– You could also eat 3 brownies if you were born in the 70s
Do not forget: flavored sauces containing corn syrup count as a grain! It all counts. Give that chicken breast something to feel good about!
You can eat 3 of any sweet, refined treat, and you’ll be getting half your daily intake of grains! Don’t worry, this is all in step with the U.S. government’s dietary recommendations, which are to eat 6-11 grain servings daily, only half of which need to be whole grains (“Make half your grains whole”).
I am a bit of a princess, as you all know, so I will be eating eclairs. I want the expensive diabetes. With enough work, maybe I can even look like Labelman.
Potato chips are one of the most popular American snacks and are our favorite “vegetable”. We spend nearly 3 billion a year on these fried starch crisps. The health issues associated with chip consumption are well-known. What you may not realize is that, pound for pound, potato chips often cost more than the choicest cut of premium beef.
Why eat this…
This is Slice’s Flickr Photo (CC)
When you could eat this?
This is Bruce Lee’s Flickr Photo CC
Relatively ridiculous pricing goes beyond chips. We groan about gasoline being expensive, but salad dressings, sauces, sodas and even bottled water cost far more. And how about a gallon of toothpaste? Hundreds. Most processed foods, beverages and household items are relatively inexpensive to manufacture. We’re not paying for ingredients, we’re paying for the marketing of those ingredients.
Another reason to eat food, not food products.
I’m sure we could come up with dozens of “cheap” snack and household products that in truth cost more than seemingly expensive foods. Anyone up for a little arithmetic?
[tags] potato chips, food production, beverages, processed foods, agriculture [/tags]