Archive | February, 2012

Avoid: GMO’s

29 Feb

What are they?

GMO stands for Genetically Modified Organism. In other words, food that has had it’s DNA modified.

Would you feel safe if I told you that the seed that grew into the fruit or vegetable you ate today was developed in a lab instead of by nature? That it was injected with a bacteria’s DNA to insert genes into it to make it resistant to herbicides?

This does not make me happy and it certainly does not make me feel safe.

To avoid eating these GMO’s make sure you buy organic produce and also organic products. Most processed food contain at least one ingredient derived from GMO, the most frequent ones are corn and soybeans. Look at the labels, if a conventional cereal (not organic) contains any corn ingredients these are probably derived from GM corn.

Unfortunately GMO labeling is not official at this time. But there are groups who advocate for it to become mandatory. I think we all deserve the right to know where our food is coming from.

To learn more about GMO’s go to www.nongmoproject.org or www.saynotogmos.org

You can also watch the Future of Food trailer here.

Another interesting video here.

Food of the Week: Kale

28 Feb

Although kale is one of the most powerful superfoods on the planet, not a lot of people know what it is.

Kale contains twice the antioxidants present in other leafy greens, it is high in vitamin K, C and A and in minerals like folate, manganese, potassium, calcium, iron and copper.

It is also high in fiber and protein.

Kale has proven to prevents cardiovascular disease, cancer, eye diseases like cataracts, macular degeneration and glaucoma. It is protective against high blood pressure and rheumatoid arthritis. Maintains healthy skin, stimulates the immune system and activates the body’s detoxification enzymes.

Kale is rich in sulphoraphane, a phytochemical known to inhibit the growth of H. pylori, the bacteria linked to stomach and duodenal ulcers.

I love kale in juices and salads!

Kale Salad with Cashews and Mustard Dressing

This is my favorite salad!

1 bunch kale, stems removed

1 avocado, cubed

1 handful cashew nuts

1 garlic clove, minced

2 tablespoons whole grain mustard

3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 lemon, juiced

Salt and pepper

In a small bowl add garlic, mustard, olive oil, lemon juice, salt and pepper and mix. Add to kale, avocado and cashews and enjoy!

Remember… Eat healthy, be happy!

Did you know?… About Dieting

23 Feb

Did you know that studies have shown that portion controlled diets don’t work.

Out of 100 people observed, during a 5 year period, only 3 of them maintained the weight lost.

Drastic diets can lead to weight gain in the long term.

The best option is to learn how to eat healthy. Adding more fruits and vegetables to your diet and reducing processed foods and saturated fats, can lead to weight loss and prevent disease.

Remember… Eat healthy, be happy!

Fats: Not all Bad

22 Feb

I really didn’t understand fats until a few years ago.

I grew up with everyone around me saying fats were bad and fats make you fat!

I was still too young to know better, so I ordered fat free dressings on my salad, things cooked with no oils, I decided not to eat avocados, nuts and all vegetable fats! I really thought animal products were fine, as were processed foods (!?!) I had no idea what I was doing! I was letting the TV and magazine ads dictate the terrible way I was eating.

It wasn’t until I read a book about good fats that my perspective changed. This was a few years after medical school, where I heard a few things about fats, but mostly that I should stay away from them!

After reading the book I finally understood that everything in my diet was wrong. I still had a lot of research to do but I was on the right path to understand that: vegetable fats were the good fats, animal fats were mostly the bad fats and processed food fats were the terrible fats! Or as Dr. Mark Hyman says “the ugly fats.”

Good fats

Good fats are unsaturated fats. They help lower cholesterol, triglycerides, LDL and VLDL (very low density lipoproteins) and also reduce inflammation.

Some examples include:

  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • Flax seeds and flax seed oil
  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Avocados
  • Salmon
  • Sardines

Bad Fats

These fats are saturated fats that block arteries, leading to heart disease. They cause weight gain that is liked to diabetes and have been also linked to cancer.

  • Refined vegetable oils
  • Beef
  • Butter
  • Pork
  • Chicken

Trans Fats

These are the worst of them all. They are man-made, toxic and dangerous. They increase the risk for heart disease, diabetes, obesity and cancer.

They are present in most processed foods like:

  • Margarine
  • Crackers
  • Chips
  • Cookies
  • Frozen dinners
  • Microwave popcorn
  • Cakes

Eat mostly good fats, little amounts of saturated fats and zero trans fats!

Eat healthy, be happy!

Food of the Week: Avocado

21 Feb

Avocados (from the Aztec “ahuacatl”) are native to Central and South America. They are highly nutritious rich in vitamins B, C, E, K, folate, potassium, iron, biotin, zinc and also contain powerful antioxidants and phytonutrients.

They are smooth and delicious, high in healthy monounsaturated fat. These healthy fats help lower cholesterol and triglycerides and increase HDL.

Avocados help maintain a healthy vision, boost the immune system, help lower high blood pressure, maintain healthy skin, hair, nerves and bone marrow, inhibit the growth of cancer cells, have anti-inflammatory properties and help people lose weight.

You can add avocado to almost any dish. I love them in salads!

Mexican Guacamole

(Serves 4)

3 avocados, peeled, mashed

1 tomato, diced

3 tablespoons onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 lemon juice (it prevents avocados turning brown)

1 green chili pepper, chopped

2 tablespoons cilantro, chopped

Salt and pepper

Mix all the ingredients and enjoy!

Remember… Eat healthy, be happy!

Childhood Obesity, Vitamin D and Diabetes

16 Feb

A recently published study with 411 obese children found that, low vitamin D levels are associated with risk for type-2 diabetes.

Obese children are more likely to be vitamin D deficient, and this is associated with insulin resistance.  Obese children are also more likely to skip breakfast and drink soda, both factors associated with a vitamin D deficiency.

If you have children, teach them how to eat healthy, things are better learned at a younger age.

A third of American children and adolescents are obese.

Some doctors today are saying that this generation of children will have a shorter life expectancy than their parents. And 1 in every 3 children born after the year 2000 will develop diabetes.

Remember… Eat healthy, feed healthy, be happy!

What is Organic Food?

14 Feb

Organic Fruits and Vegetables

These are the ones grown from seeds which are not genetically modified, in a soil rich in nutrients, without the addition of chemical fertilizers. Crops are not sprayed with synthetic chemicals like pesticides and neither irradiation or gas are used.

There have been some studies which demonstrate that harmful pesticides are stored in greater quantities in people consuming conventional produce, as opposed to those consuming organics.

Organic Livestock

Animals have to be born and raised on organic land and fed organic. They are hormone and drug free. Antibiotics can only be given during an infectious outbreak.

Make sure when buying organic meats, eggs and dairy that they are also free range, this means the animals are not confined, they spend time outdoors.

So is organic better?

Of course it is! Nutrition-wise and also because we are not eating the chemicals, additives, hormones, drugs, pesticides, and genetically modified components. I believe organic is good for the planet as well.

So… give organic food a chance, I am convinced you will never go back.

Eat healthy, be happy!