Disease


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Feeling kinda uneasy after watching a lot of food porn at work today (don’t ask), so thought I would post my own version of food porn and also declare the hot new food trend of 2014 to be:

BRUSSELS SPROUTS!

Okay, so maybe I’m not he first person to declare this, but, I’ve seen this one coming for awhile now. Brussels Sprouts ARE THE NEW/OLD “IT” vegetable. (mark my flippin words)

Ingredients:

1 turn of peanut oil

Butter (optional)

1-2 crushed cloves of garlic

1 package of Brussels sprouts (ends cut off and cut in half)

Low sodium broth (< 300 mg per serving minimum!)

Himalayan Sea Salt (to taste)

Method:

  1. Preheat pan to medium high heat
  2. Pour one turn of peanut oil in the pan and allow to heat up to medium high heat (throw some H2O molecules in the pan to test for “hotness”),  simultaneously throw garlic smashed into pan (remove within a minute of cooking to prevent  spread of “bitter” flavor)
  3. Place Brussels sprouts cut-side down onto heated pan
  4. After halves are placed face down, pour a small amount of low sodium broth into pan, wait for “SIZZLE” and then lower heat and cover for 17 minutes over medium low heat.
  5. Sprinkle some Himalayan sea salt to taste over sprouts
  6. Enjoy!

Here’s the nutritional information for Brussels sprouts in case you are doubting the serious nutritional benefits from these MOFOs:

Brussels Sprouts Nutrient Extraaganza

Isn’t it still shocking to see how salty it really is though? Check out this slideshow at CNN.

Sadly, what should be a “healthier” fast food item, a bagel, at Dunkin’ Donuts clocks in at over 3,000 mg of sodium! Okay, it is a salt bagel, but, that’s more than a teaspoon of salt people.

More than a day's worth of salt in a bagel!

More than a day’s worth of salt in a bagel!

Here’s a couple of other food ingredients that you may or may not know contain sodium:

Salt or sodium-containing compounds:

  • Monosodium glutamate (MSG)
  • Baking soda (1231 mg of sodium in 1 tsp baking soda)
  • Baking powder (355mg sodium in 1 tsp  double-acting, sodium aluminum sulfate)
  • Disodium phosphate
  • Sodium alginate
  • Sodium nitrate
  • Table Salt (1 tsp has 2,300 mg of sodium)

It’s recommended we try to limit our sodium intake to less than 2300 mg per day, and 1500 mg per day if you have high blood pressure. There are other diseases which require you to go even lower daily, so, it’s a good idea in general to wean ourselves from the taste of added salt.

Another crunchy, refreshing, low calorie side dish for summer

I’m still on somewhat of a  jicama kick, especially in this hot weather. This time I paired it with red cabbage, one of my favorite glucosinolate laden veggies (the cancer fighting compounds found in several cruciferous vegetables.). I used the same simple method as with the Jicama “Super Immunity” Salad and most of the same ingredients (makes about 4 servings):

Ingredients:

1/2 whole large jicama peeled and sliced on the mandoline  – “french fry” blade

1/2 large head of red cabbage, thinly shredded

1/4 red pepper, thinly sliced

2-3 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 red onion, thinly sliced

1/2-1 teaspoon olive oil

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Juice of 1 fresh lime

Fresh Basil

Salt to taste

Method:

Slice up the jicama and put in a big bowl. Then add the cabbage, pepper, onion, ginger and garlic. Add red wine vinegar and sesame oil and combine all ingredients so that each ingredient is equally coated. Chop up the fresh basil, add it to the mix. Squeeze the fresh lime over the mix, add your salt . Combine once more and then cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 10 minutes.

Nutrition:

This slaw gives an added antioxidant boost due to the pigments in the cabbage called anthocyanins. These provide the beautiful purple/reddish color and are thought to offer protection against several diseases such as cancer and heart disease.

~75 calories per serving and 6 grams of fiber per serving!

Broccoli may help in the fight against cancer

A recent article in Clinical Cancer Research offers further support towards the belief that components found in broccoli known as sulforaphanes may help fight cancer.

Essentially this study shows that when sulforaphanes were applied to breast cancer stem cells, their growth was inhibited and/or prevented. Unfortunately because this was an in vitro study, it’s not clear how much broccoli one would need to eat in order to reap this type of benefit, but, the results are encouraging.

If you’d like to know more about sulforaphanes , I have gone into depth on them in, Another Reason to Eat Broccoli, but, basically:

  • Sulforaphanes are present in cruciferous vegetables such as broccoli, brussel sprouts and cabbage.
  • Maximum sulforaphane benefits seem to be derived from the vegetables in their less cooked states

I have noticed that there are broccoli sprout supplements boasting high levels of sulforaphanes, such as one by Source Naturals, but, as is the case with most supplements, by taking those, you would miss out on all of the other nutrients that broccoli has to offer, such as vitamin C. Plus, broccoli is a very versatile vegetable and tastes great. Adding broccoli to your diet on a regular basis will no doubt benefit your body in more ways than one.

What’s your favorite way to eat broccoli?

Stephen Colbert featured both the lady who represents “Big Salt” in our country and a representative from the Center for Science in the Public Interest on the Colbert Report this evening, basically they were debating whether or not salt is actually killing people.

I have to say this one goes to “Big Salt,” mostly because Mr. Jacobson looked like a deer in headlights and an unabashed mouthpiece for the AMA & of course his own organization.

Don’t get me wrong, I am a big fan of the CSPI newsletter, but, I don’t approve of some of their over the top reporting on food issues, and, I have personally contacted them about blatant errors in some of their stories, and they took no measures to correct themselves. Not that cool in my opinion.

Is salt really killing people? It definitely makes me edematous, but, it’s certainly not as insidious as it’s been made out to be lately. I’m watching the tide turn against salt just as I’ve watched it turn against fat and more recently carbohydrates.

It just seems a little odd that a micronutrient is going to take the fall for the people who are puting too much of it in their foods, whether its the manufacturers or those with a heavy hand on the the salt shaker or those who simply consume too many processed foods.

It is a big problem that food manufacturers pile salt into food like it’s going out of style (and it appears that now it actually IS going out of style), and some of our favorite restaurants do the same thing. See my previous posts on salt: An Assault on Salt

It’s up to us as consumers to educate ourselves on how much is too much.
If a serving has more than 300 mg of sodium, take pause, if it has more than 600 mg per serving, think twice, more than 800 mg per serving just say NO.

Someone close to me recently made the decision to go on blood pressure medication. Though medications can definitely help people, there are some “Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension” which might be worth exploring if your physician is willing to let you give it a try.

The website dashdiet.org gives specific instructions on how to implement the eating plan, as does this article in MORE magazine:

This article today on Reuter’s says that coffee is actually okay for diabetics. Not too long ago it was thought that coffee could be harmful to patients with diabetes. I personally remember modifying  hospital menus so that coffee did not appear on the diabetic menus. It really is amazing how nutrition information changes, but, at least research is being done. As I am a big fan of coffee, I am glad to see it.

Here’s the article and the link:

Coffee seen OK for diabetic men

Tue Jun 02 16:28:10 UTC 2009

NEW YORK (Reuters Health) – There’s reassuring news for coffee lovers with type 2 diabetes. Drinking even fairly high amounts of coffee does not raise the risk of developing heart diseases in diabetic men or increase their risk of dying early, according to a brief report in the medical journal Diabetes Care.

Although research involving people in the general population has suggested no harmful effects on the heart from drinking coffee, there’s been little information about any effect in people with diabetes, Dr. Rob M. van Dam and colleagues point out. Recently, however, there has been evidence suggesting that coffee consumption may impair diabetics’ ability to process glucose.

To look into this, van Dam, from the Harvard School of Public Health, Boston, and colleagues studied data on 3497 diabetic men who were followed from 1986 to 2004. None of them had cardiovascular disease at the outset, and they all completed several dietary questionnaires during follow-up.

The researchers found that consumption of coffee, even four or more cups per day, did not significantly increase the risk of heart disease or the odds of dying during the study period, compared with subjects who did not drink any coffee.

The same held true whether or not the subjects smoked and regardless of how long they had had diabetes.

“Our findings do not support the hypothesis that habitual caffeinated coffee consumption increases risk of cardiovascular events or mortality among individuals with type 2 diabetes,” the authors conclude.

SOURCE: Diabetes Care, June 2009.

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