Sunday, November 27, 2011

Make baked goods a little healthier

Here we go again - blaming fat, especially the wrong kind of fat, rather than carbs and commercial vegetable oils. An article in today's (11/27/11) Blade claims to tell you how to make baked good healthier, but it's the usual misguided advice.
  • Replacing part of the butter with pureed fruit will just make the item higher in carbs, contributing to undesirable blood sugar gyrations.
  • Using oil rather than butter is likely to contribute to the insulin resistance that leads to diabetes.
  • Replacing whole eggs with egg whites or egg substitutes, just means you miss all the wonderful nutrients in the egg yolk, including choline and vitamin A. Choline deficiency induces metabolic syndrome (indicated by insulin resistance and elevated serum triglycerides and cholesterol) and obesity. And the cholesterol in egg yolks is actually beneficial.
  • Using low fat cream cheese or low fat milk just means you are losing the benefits of butterfat - more vitamin A, stable saturated fats that make for a satisfying meal and protect your cells from the undesirable trans fats and excessive highly reactive omega-6 oils.
The easiest way to make baked goods healthier is to use all your good natural fats, but eat a smaller portion. But one caution, smaller portions may signal your body "Oops! Starvation!" and your metabolism slows down - not what you had in mind. A satisfying meal of real food in modest portions, with plenty of good fats, is more likely to keep your body happily perking along in fat-burning mode. So make that rich dessert with quality ingredients, just don't eat as much! And you can probably cut the sugar - with superior ingredients it doesn't need to be super sweet.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Where are the Innovators?

In response to the Editorial on page 37 of the October 10-16, 2011 large print weekly of the NYTimes, titled "Where to Find the Innovators?"(They are always changing the name!) I wrote this response - but was too late to send it.

What do you mean 'Where are the innovators?' There are plenty of innovators but they are being systematically squashed!

There are innovative eco-farmers who are producing super nutritious, tasty and highly productive farm products, using innovative, sophisticated, ecologically friendly, sustainable techniques, but they have been ignored or belittled by conventional agricultural experts.

There are small eco-farmers and their customers who are producing wonderfully nutritious and innovative value added products, but they are crushed by burdensome, irrational, often arbitrarily applied regulations which have little to do with real food safety, but are true job killers. Read famed, truly innovative eco-farmer Joel Salatin's book, Everything I Want To Do is Illegal, to see what innovation killers those regulations can be. (Summary article)

There are unconventional health professionals who are not only curing cancer, but also guiding their patients into how to prevent it and a host of other chronic diseases in the first place, yet they are regularly disparaged as quacks and frauds by establishment medicine and often threatened with loss of their license to practice.

The public has been led to believe that the latest drug is truly innovative, when in fact the really innovative, effective, and relatively low cost non-drug approaches being used by knowledgeable nutritionists face all kinds of regulatory barriers, while the practitioners are attacked by the dietetic police for not having the "proper credentials," or not following proper protocols.

Wall Street's insistence on short term profits is behind much of this - so hurrah for 'Occupy Wall Street'! An end to the collusion between big corporations and government!

Your everlovin' reformed and retired dietitian,

Friday, June 17, 2011

Phosphorus fertilizer buildup - a solution

A headline on the business page in yesterday's Blade:
Algae food found in 30% of Ohio farmland - Phosphorus linked to outbreaks on lake
"Ohio's six state agency directors learned Wednesday that nearly a third of all Buckeye State farmland is believed to contain too much phosphorus, one of many possible reasons for large annual algae outbreaks in western Lake Erie since 1995."

This is another reason to switch to intelligent organic/ecological farming techniques. Phosphorus from commercial chemical fertilizers is rather quickly bound up into in insoluble form that is unavailable to the plants - hence its accumulation in the soil. To release that bound-up phosphorus requires the biological action of soil microorganisms, especially fungi. Chemical farming tends to kill off the soil life, making the soil more vulnerable to erosion and requiring yet more chemical fertilizers, but sophisticated ecological farming methods encourage and support the soil life, making the bound up phosphorus and other minerals, as well as nitrogen from the air, available for plant utilization.

It's time we face the reality of what our commercial farming methods are doing to the environment. Ecological farming that is well done can be just as productive as conventional methods, while producing higher quality, more profitable crops.

Friday, June 10, 2011

How to Save a Trillion Dollars

From The New York Times Opinion Pages
How to Save a Trillion Dollars

Interesting article! Too bad he picks on Ornish as an example of healthy eating. He's headed in the right direction except for his misplaced fat phobia. People are forever misunderstanding the value of natural saturated fats to avoid excess carbs and excess polyunsaturated fats, and spare the essential fatty acids.

I should add that the biggest barrier to sensible healthy eating government policy is the adverse affect it would have on the ag, food, pharm, & medical industries, which have far too much influence on our politicians and bureaucrats. Otherwise why would they continue to promote a low saturated fat ,high carb diet in spite of all the evidence that saturated fat is not bad and limiting carbs can be very helpful.

The unemployed could be put back to work at satisfying and rewarding work raising the high quality food needed on well managed ecological farms, preparing that food for sale, and doing all the 'green' jobs that need doing to rescue our environment from the edge of disaster. And if we didn't have the worry and expense of rampant disease, we could support the arts, education, and other worthy enterprises that get short shrift these days.

Some have commented that ill health is mostly hereditary - this is only slightly true. Unfortunately unhealthy parents pass on their unhealthy habits to their kids. Actually the holistic doctors and naturopaths would be kept busy helping everyone fine tune their health, helping them recover from the ravages of our present junky food and toxic environment. It is the experience of many people who have changed to a healthier diet and lifestyle to overcome one health problem, that other problems are also resolved - health problems are often linked in ways we don't understand. A truly health body resists cancer, supports a healthy heart, healthy blood sugar, healthy blood pressure, healthy digestion, and has a happy disposition.

Don't tell me you can't afford to buy healthy food - you can't afford not to! You can even start to raise some of that food yourself. The higher the quality the less you'll need or want to eat!

There are links to a variety of healthy eating guides on my website. Just remember, people vary - some do better eating more vegetable, others do better eating more meat (with the fat). Refined carbs and omega-6 polyunsaturated fats need to be limited. And the best news is that high quality healthy food is wonderfully tasty!

Happy Eating!