Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Lower Your Cholesterol with Foods

Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol

 

Foods That Lower Your Cholesterol

 

Certain foods can be part of the plan to improve your numbers, to both lower low-density lipoprotein (LDL) cholesterol, the bad one, and raise your high-density lipoprotein (HDL), the good one.

First, choose foods with soluble fiber. Think of this type of fiber as a magnet, drawing cholesterol out of your body. Good sources are oats, oat bran and barley, along with beans, eggplant and okra. When used in recipes, these foods tend to take on the flavors of other ingredients, so be adventurous with recipe planning — and generous with herbs and spices.

Apples, grapes, strawberries and citrus fruits are good choices because of their pectin, a type of soluble fiber.

Next, go for foods with polyunsaturated fats. These include vegetable oils like canola, sunflower and safflower, as well as fatty fish like salmon, rich with omega-3 fatty acids, and most types of seeds and nuts.

Plant-based foods also contain substances called plant sterols and stanols, which help keep the body from absorbing cholesterol. Particularly good sources are Brussel sprouts, wheat germ and wheat bran, peanuts and almonds, and olive, sesame and canola oils.
In terms of foods to limit, talk to your doctor about your unique needs. High-cholesterol foods like shellfish and eggs aren’t as dangerous as once thought. The verdict is still out on the saturated fat found in meat, but some research has found that full-fat yogurt, milk and even cheese may be good for you.

The one type of fat to completely avoid is trans fat. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration banned its addition to foods in 2018, but because of extensions granted to some manufacturers, certain items could be on store shelves until January 2021. So keep checking the ingredients on any packaged foods you’re considering.

You are What you Eat, So Dont Be Fast, Cheap, Easy or Fake!

 

Health and Wellness Associates
EHS Telehealth

WordPress:  https://healthandwellnessassociates.co/

 

Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

Brain Aging: The Brain-Food Connection

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For decades, the medical community has recommended dietary management as part of the therapeutic plan for many conditions such as diabetes, heart disease, high blood pressure, and high cholesterol. To date, no such recommendations exist for brain aging and dementia. In fact, many scientists and nonscientists alike are still reluctant to believe that our food choices might have something to do with the way our brains age or our risk of developing a brain disease.

In part, this is due to the fact that historically nutrition has been glossed over in medical schools, as well as in most post-grad mental health programs. It is only in recent years that nutrition was granted scientific-field status, and diet has been acknowledged as a legitimate means of protecting ourselves against brain aging and brain diseases such as Alzheimer’s. Little by little, scientists have come to appreciate the powerful connection between the foods we eat and our brain health. This very revelation has fostered a fast-growing body of evidence showing that we might very well be eating our way to dementia.

Brain Aging

What many of us have only begun to grasp is that the actual health and quality of the foods we eat has dramatically diminished. Animals are routinely fed growth hormones, antibiotics, and genetically modified (GMO) feed, which we in turn ingest when we make a meal of them. Chicken and pigs are fed poisons like arsenic as a preservative. Conventionally raised produce is showered in pesticides and chemical fertilizers. In addition to being toxic and depleting our soil of nutrients, these treatments drive our produce to grow larger and plumper in appearance while disguising the fact that they possess an unprecedentedly diminished vitamin and mineral content. Additionally, chemically modified fats and refined sugar are routinely added to most foods. This is done not only to preserve the foods’ shelf life but to deliberately increase our cravings for them, which in turn drives sales and profits.

What has gone unnoticed until now is the discovery of how, of all the organs in our body, the brain is the one most easily damaged by a poor diet. From its very architecture to its ability to perform, everything in the brain calls out for the proper food. Many of us are unaware that the only way for the brain to receive nourishment is through our diet. Day after day, the foods we eat are broken down into nutrients, taken up into the bloodstream, and carried to the brain to replenish its depleted storage, to activate cellular reactions, and, most importantly, to be incorporated into brain tissue. Proteins from meat and fish are broken down into amino acids which, among other things, serve as the backbone of our brain cells. Vegetables, fruit, and whole grains provide important carbohydrates such as glucose, as well as the vitamins and minerals that energize the brain. Healthy fats from fish and nuts are broken down into omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids that make our neurons flexible and responsive, all the while supporting our immune system and shielding the brain from damage and brain aging. Our brains are literally what we eat.

Health and Wellness Associates

Preventative and Restorative Healthcare

healthwellnessassociates@gmail.com

 

Foods, Uncategorized

Please Stop! Eating Kraft Mac and Cheese

kraftmacandcheese

In Kraft’s “Easy Mac” they use straight up Monosodium Glutamate aka “MSG” to create addiction to processed foods early in a child’s life – they don’t even try to hide it under the name “yeast extract.”

This is really shocking and to think so many kids around the nation are popping these suckers into microwaves is so sad. Please inform your friends and family – this product shouldn’t exist! Not only does it have GMOs and dyes that can be contaminated with carcinogens, but this type of Mac & Cheese requires a big fat warning label in Europe that says “May Have an Adverse Effect on Activity and Attention in Children.”

This is one of the most unethical products I’ve ever seen – especially since Kraft knows how to use safer ingredients already in some of their other products.  Even Annie’s Homegrown Mac and Cheese was bought out by Kraft Foods, and now is not a natural product.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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Dr P Carrothers

Dir of Preventative and Restorative Medicine

312-972-WELL

HealthWellnessAssocaites@gmail.com

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Uncategorized

Baked Chicken With Minted Chimichurri

Baked Chicken With Minted Chimichurri

Baked Chicken With Minted Chimichurri

 

Chicken is absolutely loaded with tryptophan, which can boost mood and help sleep come easier. It’s also high in vitamin B3 (a.k.a. niacin), which the Chicago Health and Aging Project found may slow cognitive decline. Here we take chicken thighs and jazz ’em up with a tantalizing minted chimichurri. The scent of mint has been shown to increase alertness, and the taste is perfect for waking up chicken and other meats.

For the Minted Chimichurri

Makes 1 1/2 cups

Prep time: 15 minutes

 

1 cup fresh mint, tightly packed

1 cup flat-leaf parsley, tightly packed

1/2 cup fresh oregano (or 3 tbs. dried)

6 cloves garlic, minced

3/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

3/4 tsp. sea salt

3 tsp. lemon zest

1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 cup extra-virgin olive oil

For the Baked Chicken

Makes four servings

Prep time: 20 minutes (plus up to two hours to marinate)

Cook time: 40 minutes

 

8 pasture-raised, bone-in, skin-on chicken thighs

11/2 cups minted chimichurri (at left)

1/2 tsp. sea salt

1/4 tsp. freshly ground black pepper

Add all the minted chimichurri ingredients to a blender or food processor, and process until well combined.

 

Put the chicken in a large bowl with 6 tablespoons of the chimichurri and toss to coat. Cover with plastic wrap and marinate in the refrigerator for at least 45 minutes or up to two hours.

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Wipe the chicken with a paper towel to remove excess chimichurri; place the chicken on the prepared baking sheet skin side up and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 40 minutes or until the chicken juices run clear and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a thigh reaches 160 degrees F.

 

Transfer the chicken to a serving platter and drizzle a few tablespoons of the remaining chimichurri over it. Serve, with the rest of the chimichurri on the side.

 

Per Serving: Calories: 140; Total Fat: 7 g (2 g saturated, 0 g monounsaturated); Carbohydrates: 4.5 g; Protein: 14 g; Fiber: 0.5 g; Sodium: 426 mg

 

Storage: Store in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.

 

Health and Wellness Associates

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312-972-WELL (9355)

 

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Foods, Health and Disease

Six Foods with More Nutrients than Kale

kale

Six Foods That Have More Nutrients Per Ounce than Kale

Kale is still a wonderful value at as little as $1.99 for a bunch even in the organic section.

But can you really call it the #1 superfood among greens?

Not according to the 2014 CDC study ‘Defining Powerhouse Fruits and Vegetables: A Nutrient Density Approach.’

It ranked produce on a scale of 1-100 to find out which foods were the most nutritious.

Kale checked in at a  respectable nutrient density score of 49.07.

But the following greens have it beat:

1. Chicory

Resembling the dandelion green, this unheralded veggie can be added to salads. It checked in with a nutrient density score of 73.36. It has a nice profile of Vitamins A, C, and E among others.

2. Spinach

Long thought to have less nutrients than kale, spinach actually scored far better with a total of 86.43.

It’s a great source of Vitamin K, Vitamin A (in the form of carotenoids), manganese, folate and more.

3. Beet Green

Think you should throw these away? Think again!

They scored a whopping 87.27 in the study. Add these to your diet for added Vitamin A, K and lutein/zeaxanthin (for vision health).

Don’t forget to eat the greens on top of the beet as well.

4. Chard

Also known as Swiss chard, this cousin of collard greens came in at 89.27. It’s a great change-of-pace to kale and a wonderful source of Vitamins A, K, and the important mineral magnesium.

5. Chinese Cabbage

Most people know this veggie as bok choy but few actually buy it. That’s a big mistake!

Bok choy scored a 91.99 on the nutrient density scale and is rich in silica for great hair, skin and nails as well as Vitamins A, B and K.

6. Watercress

A great source of magnesium, folate, pantothenic acid and many different vitamins and minerals, watercress comes in at #1 with a perfect score of 100.

It’s so easy to pass up in the grocery store and so hard to find that we don’t see it passing kale in terms of its reputation for being a top health food any time soon.

But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t pass up a chance to add it to your shopping cart if you get the chance…your body will thank you!

Health and Wellness Associates

N. Meyer

P. Carrothers

Archived Article

312-972-WELL

Foods

Pork Chops with Orange Sauce

porkchops and orange sauce

Pork Chops with Orange Sauce

Ingredients

1 cup orange juice

1/2 cup unsweetened pineapple juice

1/4 cup reduced-sodium soy sauce

2 tablespoons honey

2 garlic cloves, minced

1/2 teaspoon grated orange peel

1/4 teaspoon pepper

4 bone-in pork loin chops (7 ounces each)

1 tablespoon cornstarch

Directions

In a small bowl, combine the first seven ingredients. Pour a scant 1 cup into a large resealable plastic bag; add pork chops. Seal bag and turn to coat; refrigerate for 8 hours or overnight. Cover and refrigerate remaining marinade for sauce.

Drain and discard marinade. Using long-handled tongs, moisten a paper towel with cooking oil and lightly coat the grill rack.

Grill chops, covered, over medium heat or broil 4-5 in. from the heat for 4-5 minutes on each side or until a thermometer reads 145°. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.

Meanwhile, in a small saucepan, combine cornstarch and reserved marinade. Bring to a boil; cook and stir for 2 minutes or until thickened. Serve with chops. Yield: 4 servings.

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

312-972-WELL

Foods, Health and Disease

What is Golden Milk?

goldenmilk

What is Golden Milk?

Many people like to end their day by sipping on a cup of chamomile tea, but even devoted tea drinkers may be tempted by a warm cup of golden milk. In fact, while some people find it soothing, and perfect before bed, others enjoy it first thing in the morning and even drink it in place of coffee.

What is golden milk? It’s not actually milk at all, at least not in the dairy sense. The basis of golden milk is a combination of the warming (and golden-colored) turmeric spice along with coconut milk and/or coconut oil (depending on the recipe you prefer).

Turmeric is most well-known for its use in curry dishes, but it’s earning a name for itself as a potent medicinal food.

Turmeric has actually been valued for its medicinal properties for centuries, but in the Western world, particularly the US, it’s not commonly consumed. Golden milk has the potential to change that, as each cup provides you with a healthy dose of this “spice of life.”

Turmeric Has Over 150 Potentially Therapeutic Activities

It’s difficult to describe turmeric in brief simply because it has so manybeneficial properties. That’s why the “spice of life,” as it’s known in India, sums it up wonderfully.

Traditional medicinal uses in both traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) as well as Ayurvedic medicine include the treatment of liver disease, skin problems, respiratory and gastrointestinal ailments, sprained muscles, joint pains, and general wound healing.

Turmeric’s benefits have since been well documented in the medical literature, and curcumin — one of the most well-studied bioactive ingredients in turmeric –  has been found to promote health and protect against a wide variety of health conditions.

It actually exhibits over 150 potentially therapeutic activities, including anti-inflammatory and antimicrobial activity, as well as potent anti-cancer properties that have been intensely studied.

Researchers have found a number of different mechanisms of action for curcumin, and part of the answer as to why curcumin appears to be such potent medicine is because it can:

  • Modulate about 700 of your genes
  • Positively modulate more than 160 different physiological pathways1
  • Make your cells’ membranes more orderly2
  • Affect signaling molecules.3For example, curcumin has been shown to directly interact with:
Inflammatory molecules Cell survival proteins Histone
Human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV1) integrase and protease DNA and RNA Various carrier proteins and metal ions

Turmeric Lowers Inflammation and Blood Sugar Levels

Curcumin is one of the most potent anti-inflammatories in nature, which is why, if you’re struggling with any inflammatory disorder, golden milk is a beverage worth trying.

Many chronic diseases have inflammation at their root, and even if you’re currently healthy, you may benefit from an anti-inflammatory beverage like golden milk, particularly if you eat an inflammatory diet (one that is high in processed foods, sugars, and/or grains).

Curcumin can inhibit both the activity and the synthesis of cyclooxygenase-2 (COX2) and 5-lipoxygenase (5-LOX), as well as other enzymes that have been implicated in inflammation.

A 2006 study also found that a turmeric extract composed of curcuminoids (curcumin is the most investigated curcuminoid) blocked inflammatory pathways, effectively preventing the launch of a protein that triggers swelling and pain.4

Separate research among people diagnosed with metabolic syndrome also set out to determine curcumin’s effects on inflammation. Half of the participants took one gram of curcumin powder daily for eight weeks while the other half received a placebo pill.

At the end of the study, the curcumin group had lower levels of three blood markers of inflammation, including C-reactive protein (CRP), along with lower fasting blood sugar and hemoglobin A1c (a measure of longer term blood sugar levels).5

For comparison, the placebo group had higher blood sugar levels and increased inflammation after the eight weeks. When the researchers evaluated eight previous studies, they, too, confirmed that curcumin lead to reductions in CRP levels.

They concluded that short-term supplementation with bioavailable curcumin significantly improves oxidative and inflammatory status in people with metabolic syndrome, and could be regarded as a “natural, safe, and effective CRP-lowering agent.”6

What Might You Gain By Sipping on Golden Milk?

Curcumin in turmeric has the ability to modulate genetic activity and expression — both by destroying cancer cells and by promoting healthy cell function. It also promotes anti-angiogenesis, meaning it helps prevent the development of additional blood supply necessary for cancer cell growth.

Curcumin appears to be universally useful for just about every type of cancer. In addition, according to an ever-expanding clinical body of studies, curcumin may help:

Support healthycholesterol levels Prevent low-density lipoprotein oxidation Inhibit platelet aggregation
Suppress thrombosis and myocardial infarction Suppress symptoms associated with type 2 diabetes Suppress symptoms of rheumatoid arthritis
Suppress symptoms of multiple sclerosis Suppress symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease Inhibit HIV replication
Suppress tumor formation Enhance wound healing Protect against liver damage
Increase bile secretion Protect against cataracts Protect against pulmonary toxicity and fibrosis

A study published in Natural Product Reports in 2011 further described curcumin as being therapeutic for a wide range of diseases, including:

Lung and liver diseases Neurological diseases Metabolic diseases
Autoimmune disorders Cardiovascular diseases Inflammatory diseases

Coconut Milk and Coconut Oil: The Other ‘Magic’ Ingredients in Golden Milk

There are many variations of golden milk you can try, but most are made with coconut milk (and some include coconut oil as well). Blending turmeric in with coconut milk not only adds a soothing, creamy base but also additional health benefits.

Coconut milk is made from the expressed juice of grated coconut meat and water. About 50 percent of the fat in coconut oil is lauric acid, which is rarely found in nature. Your body converts lauric acid into monolaurin, a monoglyceride that can actually destroy lipid-coated viruses such as HIV and herpes, influenza, measles, gram-negative bacteria, and protozoa such asGiardia lamblia.

Lauric acid is a type of medium-chain fatty acid (MCFAs), which is easily digested and readily crosses cell membranes. MCFAs are immediately converted by your liver into energy rather than being stored as fat. There are numerous studies showing that MCFAs promote weight loss, including one study that showed rats fed MCFAs reduced body fat and improved insulin sensitivity and glucose tolerance.7

Yet another study found that overweight men who ate a diet rich in MCFAs lost more fat tissue, presumably due to increased energy expenditure and fat oxidation from the MCFA intake.8 In addition, coconut milk is rich in antioxidants and nutrients, including vitamins C, E, and B vitamins, magnesium, potassium, phosphorus, and iron.

Coconut oil has similar health benefits and is useful for making “golden paste.” You can make golden paste ahead of time, which allows you to quickly whip up a cup of golden milk whenever you’re in the mood. As an added benefit, turmeric is fat-soluble, so the use of coconut milk and oil helps to increase its benefits.

How to Make Golden Paste and Golden Milk

Golden paste acts as a “starter” to blend the perfect cup of golden milk. It includes not only turmeric and coconut oil but also black pepper, which has been found to increase curcumin’s bioavailability by 2,000 percent.9 Here’s a simple recipe to make your own from Health Impact News:10

Golden Paste11

Ingredients:

·                    1/2 cup organic turmeric powder

·                    1 cup water

·                    1.5 teaspoons black pepper

·                    5 tablespoons virgin coconut oil

Directions:

1.                     In a stainless steel pot, cook the water, turmeric, and black pepper until it forms a thick paste, stirring and cooking for about 7 to 10 minutes.

2.                     Remove from heat and add virgin coconut oil, using a whisk to fully mix in the coconut oil.

3.                     Transfer the Golden Paste into a glass jar with a lid, and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.

4.                     You will use this paste to make your Golden Milk below.

Once you’ve made your golden paste, you’re ready to make golden milk. The recipe that follows, also from Health Impact News, is simple and can be suited to your tastes:12

Golden Milk13

Ingredients:

·                    1 teaspoon Golden Paste

·                    2 cups coconut milk

·                    1/8 teaspoon vanilla (optional)

·                    Raw honey [or stevia] to taste (optional)

·                    Pinch cinnamon (optional)

Directions:

1.                     In a stainless steel pot, gently heat, but do not boil, 2 cups of milk with 1 teaspoon of golden paste.

2.                     A whisk is helpful to fully mix the paste into the milk.

3.                     Add optional vanilla, honey [or stevia], and/or cinnamon.

Golden Milk Variation Using Turmeric Sticks and Ginger

For a slightly different slant on golden milk, the recipe that follows, from Prevent Disease, includes the spice ginger and uses turmeric sticks instead of powder.14 It’s also made without a starter golden paste, which is useful if you’re hankering for a mug but don’t have any golden paste on hand.

Golden Milk with Ginger15

Ingredients:

·                    1 inch-long stick of turmeric

·                    Peppercorns (white)

·                    1 cup water

·                    1 cup coconut milk

·                    1 inch-long piece of ginger

·                    Raw honey or stevia (optional)

·                    ½ teaspoon ghee (optional, for sore throat or cough)

Directions:

1.                     Take an inch-long stick of turmeric… and crush it coarsely using a mortar and pestle.

2.                     Crush a few peppercorns too. The white variety is better.

3.                     Mix a cup of water with a cup of coconut milk, add the crushed turmeric, pepper, and a 1-inch (by 1/2 inch diameter) piece of ginger, and bring to a boil.

4.                     Simmer for 20 minutes. By this time, the milk will reduce to a cup. This is the reason why you begin with a mixture of milk and water; otherwise you will end up with a very thick drink that won’t be as soothing.

5.                     Remove from the stove, filter, add a spoonful of honey or stevia (optional), and enjoy the drink warm.

6.                     If you are taking this to relieve a sore throat, add 1/2 teaspoon of ghee to the hot turmeric milk before drinking it. The ghee will melt and coat your throat, relieving you of cough as well.

If you’ve never tried golden milk, you’re in for a pleasant surprise. Many people enjoy it especially during the fall and winter months (and cold and flu season), but it’s just as delicious and soothing in the summer, too. One final tip – when cooking with turmeric wear an apron and don’t let your pot boil over. This spice will stain your clothing and countertops easily, so unless you want a yellow kitchen, be very careful with spills.

Foods

Thai Style Chicken Salad

thaistylechickensalad

Thai Style Chicken Salad

INGREDIENTS

1 lb cooked chicken breast, sliced thin (can use any chicken meat desired)

3 cups shredded Napa cabbage (can use regular)

3 cups peeled jicama cut into strips

1 small sweet red peppers, cut into strips

1/3 cup chopped fresh mint

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, including stems

.

Dressing:

3 Tablespoons white vinegar

2 Tablespoons lime juice

2 Tablespoons Thai fish sauce

1/2 cup sugar equivalent from substitute (liquid such as Sweetzfree preferred)

1/2 teaspoon fresh grated ginger

1/2 teaspoon Asian chili sauce (such as Sriracha) or other hot sauce

Garnishes:

1/4 cup chopped peanuts

Mint leaves

Cilantro leaves

Mix together all the salad ingredients, and in a separate bowl, the dressing ingredients. Toss to combine. Garnish as desired.

Nutritional Information: Each of 4 servings (including peanut garnish) has 8 grams effective carbohydrate plus 7 grams fiber, 42 grams protein and 297 calories

Health and Wellness Associates

Archived Article

312-972-WELL

Foods

What Happens to Instant Noodles in Your Stomach

ramennoodles

What happens to instant noodles in your stomach

Instant noodles are a popular go-to lunch or dinner for those who are strapped for time (or cash), like college students. While you probably don’t consider them a health food, you may think they’re not that bad, or, at least, not as bad as eating a burger and fries or a fast-food burrito.

In a first-of-its-kind experiment, however, Dr. Braden Kuo of Massachusetts General Hospital may make you reconsider your love of instant noodles (assuming you have one).

He used a pill-sized camera to see what happens inside your stomach and digestive tract after you eat ramen noodles, one common type of instant noodles. The results were astonishing…

Ramen Noodles Don’t Break Down After Hours of Digestion

 

 

In the video above, you can see ramen noodles inside a stomach. Even after two hours, they are remarkably intact, much more so than the homemade ramen noodles, which were used as a comparison. This is concerning for a number of reasons.

For starters, it could be putting a strain on your digestive system, which is forced to work for hours to break down this highly processed food (ironically, most processed food is so devoid of fiber that it gets broken down very quickly, interfering with your blood sugar levels and insulin release).

When food remains in your digestive tract for such a long time, it will also impact nutrient absorption, but, in the case of processed ramen noodles, there isn’t much nutrition to be had. Instead, there is a long list of additives, including the toxic preservative tertiary-butyl hydroquinone (TBHQ).

This additive will likely remain in your stomach along with the seemingly invincible noodles, and no one knows what this extended exposure time may do to your health. Common sense suggests it’s not going to be good…

Five Grams of Noodle Preservative, TBHQ, Is Lethal

 

TBHQ, a byproduct of the petroleum industry, is often listed as an “antioxidant,” but it’s important to realize it is a synthetic chemical with antioxidant properties – not a natural antioxidant. The chemical prevents oxidation of fats and oils, thereby extending the shelf life of processed foods.

It’s a commonly used ingredient in processed foods of all kinds (including McDonald’s chicken nuggets, Kellogg’s CHEEZ-IT crackers, Reese’s peanut butter cups, Wheat Thins crackers, Teddy Grahams, Red Baron frozen pizza, Taco Bell beans, and much more).

But you can also find it in varnishes, lacquers, and pesticide products, as well as cosmetics and perfumes to reduce the evaporation rate and improve stability.

At its 19th and 21st meetings, the Joint FAO/WHO Expert Committee on Food Additives determined that TBHQ was safe for human consumption at levels of 0-0.5 mg/kg of body weight.1

However, the Codex commission set the maximum allowable limits up to between 100 to as much as 400 mg/kg, depending on the food it’s added to.2 (Chewing gum is permitted to contain the highest levels of TBHQ.) In the US, the Food and Drug Administration requires that TBHQ must not exceed 0.02 percent of its oil and fat content.3

So there’s quite a discrepancy in supposedly “safe” limits, but it’s probably best to have little or no exposure to this toxicant, as exposure to five grams can be lethal and, according to A Consumer’s Dictionary of Food Additives, exposure to just one gram of TBHQ can cause:4

  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Ringing in the ears (tinnitus)
  • Delirium
  • Sense of suffocation
  • Collapse

While TBHQ is not suspected to be a persistent toxicant, meaning your body is probably able to eliminate it so that it does not bioaccumulate, if you eat instant noodles your body might be getting prolonged exposures. This is concerning, to say the least. According to the Environmental Working Group (EWG), based on animal studies health hazards associated with TBHQ include:5

  • Liver effects at very low doses
  • Positive mutation results from in vitro tests on mammalian cells
  • Biochemical changes at very low doses
  • Reproductive effects at high doses

Eating Instant Noodles Linked to Metabolic Syndrome

 

If you’re still considering ramen noodles for lunch, you should know a new study published in the Journal of Nutrition found that women who consumed more instant noodles had a significantly greater risk of metabolic syndrome than those who ate less, regardless of their overall diet or exercise habits.6

Women who ate instant noodles more than twice a week were 68 percent more likely to have metabolic syndrome — a group of symptoms such as central obesity, elevated blood pressure, elevated fasting blood sugar, elevated fasting triglycerides, and low levels of HDL cholesterol.

Having three or more of the symptoms increases your risk of developing diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Past research also analyzed overall nutrient intake between instant-noodle consumers and non-consumers, and found, as you might suspect, that eating instant noodles contributes little value to a healthy diet.

The instant-noodle consumers had a significantly lower intake of important nutrients like protein, calcium, phosphorus, iron, potassium, vitamin A, niacin, and vitamin C compared with non-consumers.7 Those who ate instant noodles also had an excessive intake of energy, unhealthy fats and sodium (just one package may contain 2,700 milligrams of sodium).8

What Else Is in a Package of Instant Noodles?

Aside from a lot of sodium and the preservative TBHQ, what else is found in a typical serving of instant noodles? Prevent Disease reported:9

“The dried noodle block was originally created by flash frying cooked noodles, and this is still the main method used in Asian countries, though air-dried noodle blocks are favored in Western countries. The main ingredients of the dried noodle are wheat flour, palm oil, and salt. Common ingredients of the flavoring powder are salt, monosodium glutamate, seasoning, and sugar.

…In June 2012, the Korea Food and Drug Administration (KFDA) found Benzopyrene (a cancer-causing substance) in six brands of noodles made by Nong Shim Company Ltd. Although the KFDA said the amounts were minuscule and not harmful, Nong Shim did identify particular batches of noodles with a problem, prompting a recall by October 2012.”

The monosodium glutamate (MSG) in instant noodles is reason enough to avoid them. MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your nerve cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain dysfunction and damage to varying degrees — and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease, and more.

Part of the problem is that free glutamic acid (MSG is approximately 78 percent free glutamic acid) is the same neurotransmitter that your brain, nervous system, eyes, pancreas, and other organs use to initiate certain processes in your body. Not to mention, MSG is also used to fatten up mice for scientific study. Yes, MSG is the perfect obesity drug. If you want to achieve your ideal body weight and health, avoid MSG at all costs.

Return to Whole, Living Foods for Optimal Health

Occasionally eating a package of instant noodles clearly won’t kill you, but when you make a habit of substituting convenience foods for real food, it’s only a matter of time before health problems will likely develop. Instant noodles are a prime example of the types of processed foods you want to avoid as much as possible, as they are virtually guaranteed to make you sick and fat if you indulge too much (and “too much” may be as little as a couple of times a week).

Processed foods encourage weight gain and chronic disease because they’re high in sugar, fructose, refined carbohydrates, and artificial ingredients, and low in nutrients and fiber. Processed foods are addictive and designed to make you overeat; they also encourage excessive food cravings, leading to weight gain. Eating processed foods also promotes insulin resistance and chronic inflammation, which are hallmarks of most chronic and/or serious diseases. On the other hand, people have thrived on vegetables, meats, eggs, fruits, and other whole foods for centuries, while processed foods were only recently invented.

Ditching processed foods requires that you plan your meals in advance, but if you take it step-by-step as described in my nutrition plan, it’s quite possible, and manageable, to painlessly remove processed foods from your diet. You can try scouting out your local farmer’s markets for in-season produce that is priced to sell, and planning your meals accordingly, but you can also use this same premise with supermarket sales. You can generally plan a week of meals at a time, making sure you have all ingredients necessary on hand, and then do any prep work you can ahead of time so that dinner is easy to prepare if you’re short on time (and you can use leftovers for lunches the next day, so you don’t have to resort to instant noodles).

Health and Wellness Associates

312-972-WELL

Diets and Weight Loss, Foods

Lighter Macaroni Salad

macaronisalad

Lighter Macaroni Salad

Ingredients

  • 2 cups dry elbow macaroni, cooked, rinsed, and drained
  • 1/3 cup diced celery
  • 1/4 cup minced red onion, soaked in cold water for 5 minutes, drained
  • 1 tablespoon minced flat-leaf parsley
  • 1/2 cup diced vine-ripened tomato (optional)
  • 1/2 cup prepared mayonnaise
  • 3/4 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sour cream
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, plus more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Directions

In a large bowl combine the macaroni, celery, onion, parsley and tomato, if using. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, mustard, sugar, vinegar, sour cream and salt. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve. Store covered in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.
Adding Tuna or Chicken to this recipe works great!