Friday, 31 October 2014

Deep-Fried Foods May Increase Prostate Cancer Risk

When you go to a drive-through or eat out at a fast food joint, what do you get? The typical fried items on a fast food menu are fries, doughnuts, or chicken strips. Variations exist, but certainly the prevailing generalization is that these items are deep-fried.

It's not surprising that frequent consumption of deep-fried foods can seriously impact your weight in addition to having an undesirable effect on your cardiovascular health. A high-fat dietary pattern has also been linked to increased risk of several types of cancers.

Now researchers at Seattle's Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center have also linked regular consumption of deep-fried foods to an increased risk of prostate cancer, specifically a more aggressive form of the cancer. They looked at men who ate deep-fried foods regularly. Specifically, the items were French fries, fried chicken, fried fish, doughnuts, and snack chips. Those who ate one or more servings of fries, fried chicken, or doughnuts per week had a 30% to 37% higher risk of prostate cancer than those who ate less than one serving per week.

This study examines the link between deep-fried foods and carcinogens. While the study did not specifically investigate why there is a link between deep-fried foods and increased prostate cancer risk, the researchers suggest one of the factors could be carcinogens in the oil or fat used for frying. When oil is heated to the high temperatures used in frying, some compounds that can be potential carcinogens are also formed. For example, acrylamides are formed when high-carbohydrate, low-protein foods are subjected to very high temperatures, as in the making of potato chips or French fries.

This gets worse when the oil is reheated, which is exactly what happens in a fast food or restaurant setting – the oil will be reused  for frying several batches before being replaced.
Fried Foods: The Obvious and Not So Obvious

Mention deep-fried foods and what comes to mind? The obvious ones are steaming hot and instantly grease up your fingers:

     - fries
    - chicken nuggets or chicken strips, or fried chicken (such as KFC)
    - fish 'n chips
    - hash browns or other kinds of potato patties
   - any dough that gets deep-fried: doughnuts, beignets, fritters, beavertails, churros

The following common snack foods are also deep-fried (even though they come out of a bag):

    - potato chips
    - nachos
    - tortilla chips
    - taco shells

Consider these other examples of convenience/frozen food items that are typically pre-fried and then reheated or cooked at home:

    - instant noodles
    - frozen fries (including those that require baking to serve)
    - frozen seasoned pre-cooked chicken wings, nuggets, or ribs
    other frozen appetizers like spring rolls and wontons

In addition, these popular ethnic restaurant items are commonly deep-fried:

    - At Chinese restaurants: Sweet-and-sour dishes, lemon chicken, sesame chicken
   -  At Japanese restaurants: Tempura dishes
   -  At Greek restaurants: Calamari
   -  At South Asian or Middle Eastern restaurants: Pakoras or samosas

The Bottom Line

We know on occasion people will eat fried foods. However, it may be worth taking a look at how you define "moderation" when it comes to deep-fried foods. One serving of any of the above food examples once a week is not a very high threshold.

With many deep-fried foods, you are also getting too much of the undesirable type of fat, refined carbohydrates, sodium, and other additives such as preservatives, flavoring, or coloring. While this study looked specifically at men who consume deep-fried foods, the rest of us would still benefit from cutting down on deep-fried foods.

Source: HealthCastle

Wednesday, 22 October 2014

Soda Accelerates Aging

The reasons to give up soda just keep mounting: cancer, cavities, and even water pollution. Now you can add accelerated cellular aging to that list, according to research published in the American Journal of Public Health.

How Soda Destroys Your Body

Looking at DNA samples of 5,309 participants, the researchers found that drinking soda was related to shorter telomere length in white blood cells. The researchers estimated that drinking 20 ounces of soda daily made you 4.6 years older.

"[Telomeres] are protective caps at the ends of chromosomes," says Lauren Kessler, author of Counterclockwise. "Just as plastic tips keep your shoelaces from unraveling, telomeres keep your DNA from beginning to fray during cell division." Previous research has shown that as telomeres get shorter (generally from age-related damage), your cells stop dividing. Cell division is what keeps us youthful and keeps our organs functioning properly.

Essentially, cellular aging due to telomere shortening is at the root of many health issues, such as inflammation, insulin resistance, and oxidative damage to tissue. The researchers point out that telomere length has even been connected to lifespan.

"Regular consumption of sugar-sweetened sodas might influence disease development, not only by straining the body's metabolic control of sugars, but also through accelerated cellular aging of tissues," says study author Elissa Epel, Ph.D., professor of psychiatry at University of California, San Francisco, in a press release.

Surprisingly, the connection between sugar and telomere length was independent of other sugar-related issues like obesity or diabetes. In fact, sugar issues and aging go hand-in-hand. "One of the most devastating of the so-called age-related changes, according to Tufts [researchers], is reduced blood-sugar tolerance, the body's ability to use glucose in the bloodstream," she says. "By age 70, they say, 20 percent of men and 30 percent of women have abnormal glucose-tolerance levels."

So how many people are shortening their lives by 4.6 years by downing a daily 20-ouncer?

Source: Rodale News

NB: 20 ounces is 2.5 cups.

Friday, 17 October 2014

Friday Inspiration: "The World Belongs To The Enthusiastic"

“Think excitement, talk excitement, act out excitement, and you are bound to become an excited person. Life will take a new zest, deeper interests and greater meaning. You can talk, and act yourself into dullness and into monotony or into unhappiness. By the same process you can build up inspiration, excitement and a surging depth of joy” (Norman Vincent Peale). You can succeed at almost anything for which you have limitless enthusiasm. Enthusiasm moves the world. 

A positive attitude always creates positive results. Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference. Depression, gloom, pessimism, despair, discouragement and fear slay more human beings than all illnesses combined.

Wednesday, 15 October 2014

Whole foods: the nutritional benefit of papaya

Papaya is a rich source of vitamin C, vitamin A, also rich in many essential B-complex vitamins such as Folic acid, pyridoxine (vitamin B-6), riboflavin, and thiamin (vitamin B-1). These vitamins are essential in the sense that body requires them from external sources to replenish and play a vital role in metabolism.

They are also rich in potassium, and significant amounts of calcium, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. The functions of the vitamins and minerals present in them include free radicals scavenging, immune booster, anti-inflammatory actions, maintenance of healthy mucus membranes and skin, healthy vision, help to control heart rate and blood pressure countering effects of sodium.

Papaya is very easy to digest and contributes to the digestion of other foods. Papaya is considered the perfect breakfast because of its digestibility and vitamin richness.

Monday, 13 October 2014

Vitamin C

This is a water soluble vitamin that is not stored in the body in large amounts in the body. Any extra amount is lost through the urine. You need to include vitamin C rich foods in your diet every day.

The role in the body includes:
  • Prevention of cell damage and may reduce your risk for certain cancers and other chronic diseases
  • It’s important for growth, repair of bones, teeth, skin and other tissue
  • Protect you from infections by keeping your immune system healthy
  • Increase your body’s absorption of iron from plant based food.
The best sources are fruits and vegetables, examples include red and yellow peppers, cabbage, green peppers, broccoli, peas, potatoes, sweet potato, tomato, papaya, kiwifruit, orange, strawberries, pineapple, avocado, sour sop, tangerine, and berries

Friday, 3 October 2014

What's So Bad About Added Sugar?

Sugar has been getting a bad rap over the last few years — and in the case of added sugar, it's for good reason. While naturally occurring sugars, like those from fruit, are welcome in a healthy, balanced diet, added refined sugars, like those in a powdery doughnut or soft drink, are a different story. Added sugars come in the form of granules, powders, and syrups that are cooked into foods or added at the table.

According to the American Heart Association, most women should be consuming no more than 100 calories from these added sugars per day, or about 24 grams (six teaspoons of sugar) — for reference, one 12-ounce can of regular Coca-Cola has 39 grams of added sugar. If you're not convinced that it's time to cut back, here are all the reasons to get serious about the sweet stuff ASAP. 

It's addictive: While the levels are lower than highly addictive drugs, sugar affects your brain and releases dopamine into your bloodstream much like cocaine. Like with any other drug, your high diminishes with continued use, so you start craving more and more in hopes of feeling better and better. In fact, there's a trend among newly sober individuals; many get off drugs and pick up a sugar addiction instead.

It's linked to heart disease: Recent studies have shown a link between high sugar consumption and heart disease, even for individuals who aren't overweight. Over the course of one 15-year study, participants who took in 25 percent or more of their daily calories as sugar were more than twice as likely to die from heart disease as those whose diets included less than 10 percent added sugar.

It promotes belly fat: One laboratory study has drawn a link between high levels of fructose in a childhood diet with an increase in belly fat. When fructose, a sugar widely used in processed foods and sodas, was present as children's fat cells mature, research found that "more of these cells matured into fat cells in belly fat." Beyond a larger waistline, abdominal obesity raises the risk of heart disease and type 2 diabetes.

It affects your immune system: According to naturopath practitioner Dr. Holly Lucille, too much sugar is one of the biggest problems that contributes to being "immuno-compromised or susceptible to catching flus." If you're constantly coming down with a new bug or infection, it might be time to look honestly at your sugar consumption.

Source: Popsugar fitness