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Try to Avoid 7 Foods Experts Won’t Eat

1. Canned Tomatoes.….. 
The expert: Fredrick vom Saal, PhD, an endocrinologist at the University of Missouri who studies bisphenol-A

The resin linings of tin cans contain bisphenol-A, a synthetic estrogen that has been linked to ailments ranging from reproductive problems to heart disease, diabetes, and obesity. Acidity — a prominent characteristic of tomatoes — causes BPA to leach into your food.

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2. Corn-Fed Beef….

The expert: Joel Salatin, co-owner of Polyface Farms and author of books on sustainable farming

Cattle were designed to eat grass, not grains. But farmers today feed their animals corn and soybeans, which fatten up the animals faster for slaughter. A recent comprehensive study found that compared with corn-fed beef, grass-fed beef is higher in beta-carotene, vitamin E, omega-3s, conjugated linoleic acid (CLA), calcium, magnesium, and potassium.

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3. Microwave Popcorn….

The expert: Olga Naidenko, PhD, a senior scientist for the Environmental Working Group

Chemicals, including perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), in the lining of the bag, are part of a class of compounds that may be linked to infertility in humans. In animal testing, the chemicals cause liver, testicular, and pancreatic cancer. Studies show that microwaving causes the chemicals to vaporize — and migrate into your popcorn.

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4. Nonorganic Potatoes…

The expert: Jeffrey Moyer, chair of the National Organic Standards Board

Root vegetables absorb herbicides, pesticides, and fungicides that wind up in soil. In the case of potatoes they’re treated with fungicides during the growing season, then sprayed with herbicides to kill off the fibrous vines before harvesting. After they’re dug up, the potatoes are treated yet again to prevent them from sprouting.

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5. Farmed Salmon..

The expert: David Carpenter, MD, director of the Institute for Health and the Environment at the University at Albany

Nature didn’t intend for salmon to be crammed into pens and fed soy, poultry litter, and hydrolyzed chicken feathers. As a result, farmed salmon is lower in vitamin D and higher in contaminants, including carcinogens, PCBs, brominated flame retardants, and pesticides such as dioxin and DDT.

6. Milk Produced with Artificial Hormones….

The expert: Rick North, project director of the Campaign for Safe Food at the Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility

Milk producers treat their dairy cattle with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH or rBST, as it is also known) to boost milk production. But rBGH also increases udder infections and even pus in the milk. It also leads to higher levels of a hormone called insulin-like growth factor in milk. In people, high levels of IGF-1 may contribute to breast, prostate, and colon cancers.

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7. Conventional Apples…

The expert: Mark Kastel, codirector of the Cornucopia Institute

If fall fruits held a “most doused in pesticides contest,” apples would win. And increasing numbers of studies are starting to link a higher body burden of pesticides with Parkinson’s disease.

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Source: Yahoo Shine November 24, 2009

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Do Some Fish Oil Supplements Contain Mercury?

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Fish oil supplements are increasingly popular, but it has sometimes been suggested that they could also expose you to the harmful pollutants found in some species of fish.
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However, studies have found that most of the widely available supplements contain little or no mercury, dioxins or PCBs.

Most companies use species of fish that are lower on the food chain, like cod and sardines, that accumulate less mercury. Many companies also distill their oils to help remove contaminants.

A report by ConsumerLab.com, which conducts independent tests of supplements, examined 41 common fish oil products and found none contaminated with mercury or PCBs. Another report, by researchers at Harvard Medical School and at Massachusetts General Hospital, studied five popular brands of fish oil and found that the brands had “negligible amounts of mercury.”

Resources:
New York Times March 23, 2009
Archives of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Dec 2003;127(12):1603-5 (Free Full Text Article)

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Omega-3 With High Fat Meal Eases Cardiovascular Changes

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Consuming the omega-3 eicosapentaenoic acid along with a high fat meal may counter the detrimental effects on arterial stiffness, suggests new research.

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The small study with 17 healthy men adds to an ever-growing body of science supporting the cardiovascular benefits of omega-3 consumption, which all started with Jörn Dyerberg, Hans Olaf Bang and Aase Brondum in the early 1970s.

Increased consumption of EPA, and the longer chain docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), has previously been linked to improved heart rhythms, reduced risk of a second heart attack, and reduced risk of cardiovascular disease.

Researchers form King’s College London investigated how ingestion of EPA with a high fat meal could affect vascular function post-prandially (after a meal) – something that has not previously been studied.

Wendy Hall and co-workers report their findings in the new issue of the Journal of Nutrition.

The volunteers were randomly assigned to consume a high fat meal (51 grams of fat per serving) with one meal containing only high-oleic sunflower oil (HOS) or HOS plus five grams of EPA. A one-week wash-out period was observed before the men consumed the other meal. On both occasions, a second high fat (44 grams of fat) was consumed four hours after the first.

Hall and co-workers report that, as could be expected, blood levels of EPA increased following the EPA-supplemented meal, peaking at 2.10 millimoles per litre (mm/L) five hours after consumption, while no such increases were observed in the HOS-only group.

Stiffness of the arteries, measured using digital volume pulse (DVP) to derive a stiffness index (DVP-SI), showed significant improvements after the EPA-supplement meal, compared to the control group, report the researchers. No differences between the HOS and HOS plus EPA meals were observed three hours after consumption, however.

“In conclusion, adding EPA to a high-fat meal results in acute changes in vascular tone, independent of changes in oxidative stress,” wrote Hall.

Supporting science
The study follows on the heels of similar results, published last September in the European Journal of Clinical Nutrition (doi: 10.1038/sj.ejcn.1602886), that supplementation with omega-3 fatty acids may improve the elasticity of blood vessels and improve overall cardiovascular health.

The older study reported improvements in arterial elasticity but no effect on blood pressure in overweight hypertensive patients.

This challenged previous studies that reported improvements in blood vessel elasticity, but also reductions in blood pressure and levels of inflammatory markers.

Such conflict in the science highlights the need for considerable further research into the area.

Sourcing concerns
The risk of pollutants from oily fish, such a methyl mercury, dioxins, and polychlorinated biphenols (PCBs) have led to some to advocate a reduction in fresh fish intake, despite others advising that the benefits of fish consumption outweigh the risks.

Such conflicting views on fish intake have seen the number of omega-3 enriched or fortified products on the market increase as consumers seek omega-3s from ‘safer’ sources. Most extracted fish oil is molecularly distilled and steam deodorised to remove contaminants.

But fears about dwindling fish stocks have pushed some industries to start extracting omega-3s from algae. Indeed, companies such as Martek Biosciences and Lonza are already offering algae-derived omega-3 DHA as a dietary supplement.

Source: Journal of Nutrition
February 2008, Volume 138, Pages 287-291
“A High-Fat Meal Enriched with Eicosapentaenoic Acid Reduces Postprandial Arterial Stiffness Measured by Digital Volume Pulse Analysis in Healthy Men”
Authors: W.L. Hall, K.A. Sanders, T.A.B. Sanders, P.J. Chowienczyk

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Healthy Tips

Fish eating

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FISH and other SEAFOOD can play an important role in a good diet. Because fish are high in protein but low in unhealthy fats, they make a great alternative to red meat. Fish are a good source of vitamins and minerals Fish has an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acids, which may protect against coronary heart disease and stroke, and are thought to aid in the neurological development of unborn babies,” said Joshua Cohen, lead author and senior research associate at the Harvard Center for Risk Analysis at HSPH.

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It is recomended that eating fish(particularly fatty fish) atleast two times a week is very good for health. Fatty fish like mackerel, lake trout, herring, sardines, albacore tuna and salmon are high in two kinds of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA).

Two new studies give one more reason to eat a diet rich in fish: prevention of age-related macular degeneration, the leading cause of blindness in old age .

Even though the world’s fish contain slight amounts of mercury, eating lots of fish carries no detectable health risk from low levels of the substance, even for very young children and pregnant women, concludes the most comprehensive study of the subject yet.

The findings come from a nine-year University of Rochester study conducted in the Republic of the Seychelles, an island nation in the Indian Ocean where most people eat nearly a dozen fish meals each week and whose mercury levels are about 10 times higher than most U.S. citizens. Indeed, no harmful effects were seen in children at levels up to 20 times the average U.S. level. The work is published in the August 26 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association 2005.

Who should choose their fish carefully?
Too much mercury and PCBs can cause health problems for anyone. Because they alter the way young brains develop, these pollutants can harm babies and children most of all. Both mercury and PCBs linger in the body and build up over time. They can pass from a pregnant woman or a nursing mother to her baby.

It’s especially important for all children under 15, teenage girls, and women who are pregnant or could get pregnant to avoid eating fish that have high levels of mercury or PCBs

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