Foods, Uncategorized

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Lobster

Health and WEllness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Cauliflower Mac and Cheese with Lobster

caulliflowermacandcheesewithlobster

 

Mac and cheese may be a beloved staple from our childhoods, but this lower carb switch-up with a luxurious twist makes it the perfect dish for your next dinner party! This “mac” and cheese recipe featuring a crisped top, cheesy cauliflower and poached lobster comes to us from the ADA’s Diabetes Food Hub, and we can’t wait for you to make it!

 

Ingredients

Cooking spray

1 cauliflower, trimmed into 8 cups florets

5 cups water

2 4-oz frozen lobster tails (or 1 cup chopped imitation lobster meat)

1 tbsp olive oil

2 tbsp all-purpose flour

2 cups milk (fat free)

1 pinch ground nutmeg

1/2 tsp salt

1/4 tsp black pepper

1/4 tsp hot sauce

3 oz colby jack cheese (reduced fat)

4 oz cream cheese (fat free)

1/2 cup whole wheat panko bread crumbs

lobstermac-cheese_rcp

Directions

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Coat in a 9×13-inch glass baking dish with cooking spray. Set aside.

Place cauliflower florets in a large microwave-safe dish. Pour 1 cup of water over the cauliflower and cover. Microwave for 12 minutes or until cauliflower is tender. Drain and then keep warm.

While cauliflower is microwaving: If using lobster tails, bring 4 cups of water to a boil and then reduce until water is just barely simmering. Add the lobster tails to the water and poach for 7 minutes. Remove the tails from the water to cool slightly. Cut the lobster tails, remove the meat from the tails and chop. Makes about a cup of lobster meat.

Add olive oil to saucepan over medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 minutes. Add the milk while whisking. Add the nutmeg, salt, pepper and hot sauce. Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer for 3 minutes.

Add the Colby-jack and cream cheeses and stir until melted.

Add the cauliflower to the baking dish. Use a fork to break up the florets into 1-inch or smaller pieces.

Pour the cheese sauce over the cauliflower and stir to coat.

Sprinkle the lobster over the cauliflower and stir to coat.

Sprinkle the panko bread crumbs evenly over the top of the casserole and then spray the top of the panko with cooking spray.

Bake for 30 minutes.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Roasted Cauliflower/ Gobi

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Teleheatlh

Roasted Gobi/Cauliflower

Roastedcauliflowergobi.jpeg

Roasted Gobi/cauliflower is very tasty and we can serve it as a starter or evening snack for school going kids. I’ve used one medium sized cauliflower to prepare the recipe. Cauliflower florets are blanched in water and marinated for 20 minutes in fresh cream(Medium fat) adding spices. The marinated cauliflower florets are placed in a baking tray with greased parchment paper. They are oven roasted @190degrees centigrade in a preheated oven for 20-25 minutes. Here I present delicious roasted gobi which can be served with mint curd chutney. Njoy Cooking, Serving n Savoring!

 

Ingredients:

 

Cauliflower: 1 no. Medium sized

Fresh cream(Medium fat): 3 tbsp

Salt: As required

Ginger garlic paste: One tsp

Red chilli powder: 3/4 th tsp

Garam masala: 1 tsp

Turmeric: Generous pinch

Method of preparation:

 

Take one medium sized cauliflower.

Separate the stem of the cauliflower.

Chop the big florets into bite size florets.

Rinse well with water and keep aside.

Keep the cauliflower florets in hot boiling water for three minutes to blanch them.

Now transfer the cauliflower florets into cold water to stop further cooking.

Take a broad vessel and put the ingredients mentioned above except cauliflower.

Mix thoroughly.

Now completely drain the water and keep the blanched cauliflower florets.

Mix thoroughly and marinate the cauliflower mixture for 20 minutes.

Preheat oven@190 degrees for ten minutes.

Meanwhile take parchment paper and place the paper onto baking tray. Grease with oil. Now place all the marinated cauliflower florets onto the parchment paper.

Bake them in a preheated oven@190 degrees for twenty five minutes or till they are completely roasted.

Take out of the oven and transfer them onto a Serving plate.

Serve the roasted(Oven) gobi with mint curd chutney.

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Diets and Weight Loss, Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Amylopectin:    Amy What?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Amylopectin:    Amy What?

 

3 Reasons to Avoid Foods with This Type of Starch

 

We all know that loading up on the cookies, candy and soda can skyrocket blood sugar levels and lead to adverse effects on health. But did you know that the same could be true for certain types of starch as well? Thanks to amylopectin, a type of carbohydrate found in starch, some starches may actually have a similar effect.

 

Amylopectin digestion may raise blood sugar and insulin levels, causing an increase in triglycerides and cholesterol and leading to fat accumulation.

 

This carbohydrate is widespread throughout the food supply and is the main component of starches, including rice, bread and potatoes.

 

However, by opting for foods lower in amylopectin and increasing your intake of high-fiber, low-glycemic foods instead, you can sidestep the negative side effects of this carbohydrate.

 Amylopectin-Graphic-2 (2).jpg

What Is Amylopectin?

The official amylopectin definition is: “a component of starch that has a high molecular weight and branched structure and does not tend to gel in aqueous solutions.”

 

To put it more simply, though, amylopectin is a type of carbohydrate found in the starches that we commonly consume, such as rice, potatoes and bread.

 

Starch is made up of two different polysaccharides, or carbohydrates: amylose and amylopectin. Each starch molecule is about 80 percent amylopectin and 20 percent amylose.

 

Amylose is made up of long, linear chains of glucose units while amylopectin is highly branched. In fact, it is composed of between 2,000 and 200,000 glucose units, and each inner chain comprises 20–24 subunits of glucose.

 

Amylopectin is also considered insoluble, meaning that it does not dissolve in water.

 

This starch molecule has a very similar structure to glycogen, a type of branched polysaccharide that is used to store glucose, or sugar, in your liver and muscles. When comparing amylopectin vs. glycogen, both are highly branched and made up of alpha glucose units, but glycogen has more branches.

 

While starch molecules are considered the main storage form of energy in plants, glycogen is the primary storage form of energy in humans and animals.

 

Amylopectin vs. Amylose

Amylose and amylopectin share some similarities but are also drastically different in the ways that they are digested and processed in the body. As mentioned previously, the differences between these two starch molecules starts with their physical structure. Amylose is long and linear while amylopectin is made up of thousands of branches of glucose units.

 

Although starches contain both of these carbohydrates, the ratio can make a major impact on the way it’s digested and processed. This is because amylopectin is more easily digested and absorbed than amylose. While this may sound like a good thing, it actually means that eating foods rich in this carbohydrate can lead to spikes in blood sugar, insulin and cholesterol levels as well as increased belly fat. A high amount of amylopectin can also increase the glycemic index of foods, which is a measure of how much blood sugar levels increase after consumption.

 

Meanwhile, foods high in amylose tend to have higher levels of resistant starch, a type of starch that isn’t completely broken down or absorbed by the body. Resistant starch has been shown to reduce fat storage, increase satiety, lower cholesterol levels and blood sugar, and improve insulin sensitivity.

 

Therefore, it’s best to minimize your intake of foods high in amylopectin and instead focus on selecting starches that have a higher ratio of amylose to ensure you’re getting the most health benefits possible from your diet.

 

Amylopectin Function

Amylopectin makes up the majority of the starch molecule, which is the primary storage form of energy for plants.

 

Much like humans, animals and all living organisms, plants need energy so they can grow and function. Plants use a special process called photosynthesis, which involves using chlorophyll to convert sunlight, carbon dioxide and water into sugar, or glucose, to be used as energy. Any extra glucose is stored as starch, which the plant can then convert back into glucose when it needs an extra bit of energy.

 

In humans, when we eat starch, it is converted to sugar, or glucose, which can also be used for energy. The cells in our bodies depend on this energy to function, making sure that we are able to build and maintain healthy tissues, move our muscles, and keep our organs working efficiently.

 

Like plants, we are also able to keep unused glucose for use later in the form of glycogen, which is mainly stored in the muscles and liver and can be easily converted to glucose when needed.

 

Amylopectin Side Effects

Spikes Blood Sugar and Insulin

Raises Cholesterol Levels

 

 

Increases Belly Fat

  1. Spikes Blood Sugar and Insulin

Foods with a higher amount of amylopectin have a higher glycemic index, which means they can cause a quick increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

Insulin is the hormone that is responsible for the transportation of sugar from the blood to the tissues where it can be utilized. When you sustain high levels of insulin over a long period of time, it can decrease the effectiveness of insulin, leading to insulin resistance and high blood sugar.

 

A study from the Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center in Maryland published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition fed 12 participants a diet composed of either 70 percent amylose or amylopectin for five weeks. Compared to amylose, amylopectin led to a greater increase in blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

Another animal study from Australia showed that feeding rats a high-amylopectin diet for 16 weeks resulted in a 50 percent higher insulin response as well as insulin resistance.

 

Conversely, another study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition showed that higher amounts of amylose delayed carbohydrate digestion and absorption and caused decreased blood sugar and insulin levels.

 

  1. Raises Cholesterol Levels

In addition to increasing blood sugar levels, a diet high in amylopectin could also negatively impact blood cholesterol levels. Research shows that eating foods with a higher glycemic index, such as those that are high in amylopectin, could decrease triglyceride and good HDL cholesterol levels.

 

Studies have also found that insulin resistance, which can occur as a result of an a high-glycemic diet, may be associated with an increase in cholesterol production.  The Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center study mentioned above, in particular, found that eating a diet high in amylopectin led to increases in cholesterol and triglyceride levels compared to a diet high in amylose.

 

Meanwhile, multiple animal studies have found that resistant starch from higher concentrations of amylose could lead to lower blood cholesterol and triglyceride concentrations in rats.

 

  1. Increases Belly Fat

One of the most visible side effects of amylopectin is its effect on your waistline. That’s because eating lots of amylopectin can increase insulin, leading to an increase in visceral fat.

 

Insulin plays a major role in fat storage and metabolism. It blocks the breakdown of fat and increases the uptake of triglycerides from the blood into the fat cells. Sustaining high levels of circulating insulin can cause insulin resistance as well as an increase in fat storage and a decrease in fat burning, as noted in research out of the University of Toronto in Canada.

 

Additionally, eating foods with a high glycemic index, such as those with a higher ratio of amylopectin, can increase hunger and the risk of overeating, as research from the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University shows.

 

On the other hand, studies have shown that amylose and resistant starch can enhance fat burning, promote satiety and reduce fat storage.

 

Amylopectin Foods

Although all starches contain some amylopectin, certain types may have a higher ratio of amylopectin than others. Simple carbs that have a high glycemic index are likely to be higher in amylopectin while foods with a lower glycemic index are likely higher in amylose.

 

High-amylopectin foods include:

 

Short-grain rice                White bread                      Bagels                  White potatoes

Cookies                               Crackers                             Pretzels                Instant oatmeal

Puffed rice                         Cornflakes                          Rice cakes

Instead of filling your plate with these foods, consider swapping in a few foods that are higher in amylose instead. These foods can help you maintain normal blood sugar levels, keep cholesterol levels low and prevent fat accumulation.

 

Low-amylose foods include:

 

Long-grain rice                 Oats                      Quinoa                 Sweet potatoes                Bananas

Whole wheat                    Barley                   Rye                       Beans                                  Legumes

 

 

History

Starch has been an integral part of our history since ancient times. Early documentation on the uses of starch is limited; Egyptians supposedly used a starchy adhesive to stick pieces of papyrus together as far back as 4,000 B.C. while in 312 A.D., starch helped proved useful in preventing ink penetration in Chinese papers.

 

However, although starch has been a dietary and industrial staple for centuries, it is only in the last several hundred years that we’ve come to understand more about its unique structure and the way that amylose and amylopectin function in the body.

 

Antonie van Leeuwenhoek, often dubbed as the father of microbiology, was the first to observe starch microscopically in 1716. However, it wasn’t until over 200 years later that researchers began to focus on the differences between amylose and amylopectin.

 

In the 1940s, scientists developed more accurate techniques to separate amylose and amylopectin from starch molecules and began studying the highly branched structure of amylopectin. They were also able to discover the amylopectin enzyme that contributes to the synthesis and breakdown of starch, which helped them understand the complexities of its structure even more.

 

Other research into the different types of starch has also been fairly recent. In the 1970s, for example, the concept of resistant starch was initially created. Years later, the Commission of the European Communities officially funded research to form an official definition of resistant starch.

 

As our knowledge about starch continues to increase, we have begun to learn more about how this important dietary component can affect many different facets of health.

 

Precautions/Side Effects

A diet high in starch can negatively impact many aspects of health. It can result in an increase in blood sugar, insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride levels, as well as increased fat accumulation.

 

Ideally, amylopectin should be limited in all diets. However, this is especially important for those who have diabetes or uncontrolled blood sugar levels.

 

For these individuals, carbohydrate intake should be kept in moderation, and the carbs that are included in the diet should be from nutrient-rich, high-fiber and low-glycemic foods. This can help slow the absorption of sugar from the bloodstream and prevent spikes and crashes in blood sugar levels.

 

Additionally, many foods high in both amylose and amylopectin contain gluten. If you have celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten, you should swap these foods for gluten-free, nutrient-dense whole grains like millet, quinoa, sorghum, rice or buckwheat.

 

Final Thoughts

Starch molecules are made up of two types of carbohydrates, amylose and amylopectin. Amylose is long and linear while amylopectin is highly branched.

Amylopectin is broken down rapidly and has a higher glycemic index, meaning it can increase blood sugar rapidly after eating.

Eating a diet high in this carbohydrate can also increase insulin, cholesterol and triglyceride levels; lead to insulin resistance; and cause fat accumulation.

Conversely, eating foods higher in amylose may have the opposite effect, decreasing cholesterol, triglycerides, insulin and blood sugar levels, while also promoting satiety and weight loss.

Foods high in amylopectin include white bread, short-grain rice, cookies, crackers, pretzels and breakfast cereals.

To promote healthy blood sugar levels and achieve optimal health, opt for low-glycemic foods that are lower in amylopectin and high in fiber and use in combination with an overall healthy diet.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Why Should You Pick Steel Oats?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Why Should You Eat Steel Oats and Not Quaker Oatmeal

 

steel oats

 

Oats are sold in more forms than any other grain. All of them are high in beta-glucan, a kind of fiber that has special cholesterol-lowering properties. Studies have shown that individuals with high cholesterol have reduced their total level by eight to 23 percent simply by consuming three grams of this soluble fiber per day – the amount you get in one bowl of oatmeal.

 

Steel-cut oats (also known as Irish or pinhead oats) are whole oats that have been chopped into two or three pieces with steel blades. Uncut, they are known as oat groats. Steel-cut oats and oat groats are the least processed forms available.

 

Rolled oats are made by steaming the groats, then rolling them, steaming them again, and, finally, toasting them resulting in the familiar thin flakes. Though processed, rolled oats are still a whole grain. The cooking time for steel-cut oats is 20 to 40 minutes, compared to 10 minutes for rolled oats and 45 to 60 minutes for oat groats.

 

I prefer steel-cut oats because they digest more slowly than rolled ones. Like all other grains in whole or cracked form, steel-cut oats rank lower than rolled oats on the glycemic index (GI), which ranks carbohydrate foods on the basis of how rapidly they affect blood sugar (glucose). The reason for this difference is that it takes longer for digestive enzymes to reach the starch inside the thicker pieces, slowing down their conversion to sugar.

 

The higher on the glycemic index a food ranks, the more likely it is to cause spikes in blood sugar. Over time, these rapid fluctuations can cause genetically susceptible people (many of us) to develop insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Insulin resistance is associated with obesity, high blood pressure, elevated blood fats, and an increased risk of type 2 diabetes.

 

You can be sure you’re eating a whole grain with a low GI ranking if you have to chew it or can see the grains or pieces of grains. The more your jaw has to work, the better.

 

Oat bran – the finely ground meal of oat groats’ outer layer – has the health benefits of a whole grain with its high fiber and low starch content. It makes a good addition to other foods, especially baked goods. Despite its short cooking time and smooth texture, it won’t spike blood sugar levels, thanks to its soluble fiber.

 

While I recommend steel-cut oats, “old fashioned” rolled oats are preferable to quick-cooking ones or instant oatmeal. Those products do not provide whole, intact grains, and some brands of the latter contain partially hydrogenated oils, artificial flavors and colors, or a lot of added sugar and salt.

 

Because oats have a higher fat content than other grains, they go rancid more easily. For that reason, whether you’re buying oat groats, steel-cut oats, rolled oats or oat bran, buy in smaller quantities, and store these foods in the refrigerator.

 

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Cauliflower Steak

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Cauliflower Steak

cauliflowersteak.jpg

 

One of the components of a heart-healthy dietary pattern that helps lower blood pressure is consuming less meat. Poultry and fish are better than red meat and processed meat, but vegetables are even better.

 

One of the best ways to make vegetables feel hearty enough for the main dish is to cut them into “steaks” so that you still feel like you’re eating an entree-sized portion instead of just a bunch of side dishes. The other way is to add tons of flavor so that you feel satisfied.

 

Grilling the cauliflower instead of baking or sautéing it adds some nice flavor, but the real punch comes from the bold Romesco sauce. Roasting the bell pepper, tomato, garlic, and almonds bring out natural sweetness that pairs beautifully with the smoky paprika. It packs such a huge burst of flavor that you would never guess there is no salt in it.

 

Ingredients

2 tablespoons raw almonds

2 cloves garlic

1/2 large red bell pepper

1 Roma tomato

1 teaspoon olive oil

1 teaspoon white balsamic vinegar

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 small head cauliflower

2 teaspoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon black pepper

Fresh parsley, chopped for garnish

Preparation

To make the romesco sauce, heat oven to 400F. Line a baking sheet with foil. Place peppers, tomatoes, garlic, and almonds on the baking sheet and roast for 10 to 15 minutes, or until almonds are toasted.

Remove almonds, rotate peppers and tomatoes, and stir garlic. Return to the oven and continue roasting, another 10 minutes, or until garlic and tomatoes are soft.

Remove garlic and tomatoes and keep roasting peppers, rotating occasionally, until skins are blistered.

 

Remove peppers and place in a bowl with tomatoes. Cover and let sit for 10 minutes.

Gently peel skins away from peppers and tomatoes. Discard skins and pepper seeds and stem.

Place all ingredients for the sauce in a high powered blender or food processor and blend until smooth.

Cut cauliflower vertically into 1-inch steaks. Rub with olive oil and sprinkle with garlic powder and pepper.

Heat a grill or grill pan to medium heat. Grill cauliflower steaks for 4-5 minutes per side. You want them to be slightly charred on the outside but not mushy on the inside.

Spoon about 1/4 cup of Romesco over each cauliflower steak and sprinkle with parsley.

Ingredient Variations and Substitutions

Be sure to buy smoked paprika, because regular paprika doesn’t have the same effect- your sauce will just be bland without it.

 

Cooking and Serving Tips

To ensure you get a complete protein profile in this meal, pair the cauliflower steaks with quinoa or black beans and perhaps a green veggie.

Double or triple the recipe for the sauce to keep in your refrigerator to spoon over chicken, fish, or eggs for a quick and flavorful dinner.

Each serving should be two steaks covered with about 1/2 cup of sauce.

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Lifestyle, Uncategorized

Extreme Eating Award Goes To….

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Teleheatlh

 

Extreme Eating Award

 

Restaurants serve up salt, fat and a whole lot of calories in their menus, the Center for Science in the Public Interest says in its Xtreme Eating Awards.

A breakfast burrito might sound a little healthy, with fillings like potatoes, avocados and even veggies in the form of peppers and onions.

extremeeating.jpg

 Public Interest XTreme Eating Awards Winner is: Cheesecake Factory’s Breakfast Burrito is loaded with bacon & sausage & delivers more than a day’s worth of calories & 3 days’ worth of fat

But the Cheesecake Factory’s Breakfast Burrito is also loaded with bacon and sausage and delivers more than a whole day’s worth of calories and three days’ worth of artery-clogging fat, according to the Center for Science in the Public Interest.

 

“It’s like eating seven McDonald’s Sausage McMuffins,” the CSPI said.

 

The CSPI released its annual Xtreme Eating Awards on Wednesday — a not-so-tongue-in-cheek poke at some of the excesses Americans can find at fast-food joints, in restaurants and in movie theaters.

 

“These dishes go the extra mile … just so more of us can start looking for extra-large-size apparel. Bravo!” the group says in its report.

 

“Many people may not realize that eating out almost always means overeating,” CSPI senior nutritionist Lindsay Moyer told NBC News.

 

“The Xtreme Eating Awards highlight some of the worst restaurant meals in America,” she added. “These are dishes that have oftentimes about 2,000 calories or more.”

 

The federal government and most health groups suggest that the average person eat 2,000 calories a day or less. One day’s sodium limit should be 2,300 milligrams, saturated fat should be kept to 20 grams or less and sugar intake should be kept to 50 grams or lower.

 

But even foods labeled as snacks can take people beyond those limits.

 

At the AMC movie chain, the Bavarian Legend Soft Pretzel “weighs in at a pound and a half of mostly white flour, with tubs of nacho ‘cheese’ and mustard for dipping,” the CSPI report reads.

 

“The 9-inch-wide pretzel has a day’s calories (1,920), three-quarters of a day’s saturated fat (15 grams), and more than three days’ worth of sodium (7,600 mg).”

 

Chili’s Honey-Chipotle Crispers and Waffles, the group says, doses restaurant patrons with more than a day’s worth of calories, two days’ worth of saturated fat and more than three days’ sodium allowance.

 

“This chicken and waffles on steroids is like eating five Krispy Kreme glazed doughnuts smothered in 30 McDonald’s Chicken McNuggets and five packets of barbecue sauce,” the group says.

 

The Cheesecake Factory pushed back, noting that people may be eating out as a special occasion. It says it also offers lower-calorie options.

 

“Many of our guests come in and want to celebrate and not be concerned with calories. Others want to share their dish — and we love it when guests share — that’s a great sign that our portions are generous – and a large percentage of our guests take home leftovers for lunch the next day,” the company said in a statement.

 

“For our calorie-conscious guests we have our award-winning SkinnyLicious Menu featuring nearly 50 delicious choices with 590 calories or less — which is actually larger than many restaurants’ entire menus.”

 

Moyer advises people to always look for such lower-calorie menu choices.

 

“Restaurant portions almost everywhere are out of control. It’s a good idea to either share a dish with someone else or take home half for later,” she said

 

“That’s why it’s so important that calories are now listed on chain restaurant menus. When you go out to eat, look for the calories.”

 

Restaurants are just trying to look generous, Moyer said.

 

“The other thing I find is that restaurants pile all sorts of cheap ingredients on a plate to make it seem like a good value. It’s often large portions of white flour and cheese. At the very least you can ask restaurants to use less cheese or leave it off entirely,” she said.

 

And most Americans eat out regularly now, not just as a treat or to celebrate special occasions. This regular overeating is helping drive the obesity epidemic. Nearly three-quarters of Americans are overweight or obese.

 

“We pick on these extreme meals, but even many typical dishes in restaurants are a threat to Americans’ health because they raise the risk of obesity, diabetes and heart disease,” Moyer said.

 

“We’re at the point now where about 45 percent of American adults have pre-diabetes or diabetes.”

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

China refuses GMO grain imports from the United States

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

China refuses GMO grain imports from the United States

 GMOcorn

 China has decided to suspend the issuance of permits for the importation of animal feed produced in America that is made with corn. China is not known for having exceptionally high standards, which is what makes this so disturbing.

 

Three trading executives discussed the turn of events with Bloomberg Business Week not too long ago. Dried distillers’ grains, also known as DDGS by industry professionals, can no longer be exported from America to China. The reason for this puzzling decision is because the Chinese government fears that MIR 162 corn, a GM strain that the Chinese have not approved, carries a high risk of contamination.

 

China was once the largest buyer of this American corn byproduct, which is produced in the process of making ethanol. More than 40 percent of the corn grown in the United Sates is used to make ethanol, and China bought 34 percent of the United States’ DDGS exports.

 

Of course, this turn of events is not really all that surprising. China rejected several shipments of corn that proved to be contaminated by MIR 162. In one instance, the government rejected 1.1 million metric tons of Syngenta corn that was tainted. The  Chinese government also turned away 758 tons of corn. It is therefore understandable that the Chinese government simply decided to suspend importation of corn-based animal feeds.

 

So China probably thinks we’re purposefully trying to contaminate their food supply with GMOs. Could you blame them? Our government has contaminated our own food supply with them!

 

On the bright side, AG Web reports that a class-action lawsuit has been filed against Syngenta, MIR 162’s creator and manufacturer, on behalf of American farmers. The corn was genetically engineered to be more resistant to insects, and was approved by the U.S. in 2010. The corn, also known as Agrisure Viptera, was marketed and promoted before it had received import approval from China. The ensuing turmoil over China’s rejection of the product  has left farmers shortchanged.

 

James Pizzirusso, a partner with the Hausfeld law firm in Washington, D.C., has said, “Syngenta must be held accountable for its blatant misrepresentations to U.S. corn farmers. By promoting and marketing a genetically-modified corn seed before the seed had received import approval from China, Syngenta placed its own profit margins over corn farmers’ livelihoods.” Pizzirusso also notes that China’s rejection of the MIR 162 corn has been a nightmare for affected farmers, causing losses equating to more than 1 billion dollars.

 

Syngenta has also been sued by both Cargill and Trans Coastal Supply Co. for their losses due to China’s rejection of products contaminated with MIR 162. Cargill has sued for a cool $90 million, while Trans Coastal Supply Co. blames Syngenta for $41 million in losses. Naturally, Syngenta believes that it is not at fault at all. In fact, they all but pat themselves on the back for providing farmers access to their “new technologies.”

“Dr P. Carrothers of Health and Wellness Associates says, ” The bottom line is, if corn is not good enough for animals in Europe and China, it definately is not good enough for humans in the United States.  But they are still able to sell it!”

 

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

Why are You Still Drinking Juice and Giving it To Your Children?

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

orangejuicekid

Quick: think back to childhood (if you’ve reached the scary clown you’ve gone too far). What did your parents or guardians give you to keep you quiet? If you’re anything like most parents, it was juice. But here’s the thing: juice is bad for you.

 

According to pediatric professors Erika R. Cheng, Lauren G. Fiechtner and Aaron E. Carroll, writing in The New York Times, a 12oz glass of orange juice has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, the same amount as a can of full-calorie soda. That alone should be enough to scare off a parent, but the immediate reaction is often, “Yeah, but at least fruit juice has vitamins in it.” This is true: the same 12oz glass of orange juice has 170mg of vitamin C… but your daily requirements max out at 90mg for men and 75mg for women, the rest is excreted as urine. So, sure, yeah, we’ll accept the fact that juice has vitamins in it. But so does a hamburger and so does Nyquil, and I can assure you that a night with those two is much more of a party than a glass of juice.

So what you’re left with after hitting your vitamin needs is a ton of sugar. With juice, you’re consuming all the sugar and none of the fiber, so while you may be having a fruit basket’s worth of fruit in your juice drink you’re skipping over the good part—the fiber—of the fruit entirely and just mainlining the sugar straight into your bloodstream. And all this sugar in the blood (albeit naturally occurring sugar) leads to obesity. 18.4% of American children are overweight, and juice is likely an often unthought-of culprit in the fight against obesity.

 

Is juice the nicotine of the kindergarten class? Are we raising a generation of juiceheads, unable to get through the morning without a sweet sip of the literally-sticky-icky? The results are clear. From Parenting.com:

 

The body responds by producing a large amount of insulin, a hormone that sweeps sugar out of the blood and into body cells. Blood-sugar levels may then drop so quickly, your child may feel shaky or sluggish. Not surprisingly, low blood-sugar levels can trigger a craving for more sweets, which creates a vicious cycle of sugar highs and lows.

Sugar like drugs is highly addictive!

 

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Foods, Health and Disease, Uncategorized

The Most Toxic Food In The World

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

The Most Toxic Food in the World

farmsalmon

Fish are an important part of the ecosystem and the human diet. Unfortunately, overfishing has depleted many fish stocks, and the proposed solution — fish farming — is creating far more problems than it solves. Not only are fish farms polluting the aquatic environment and spreading disease to wild fish, farmed fish are also an inferior food source, in part by providing fewer healthy nutrients; and in part by containing more toxins, which readily accumulate in fat.

 

Farmed Salmon = Most Toxic Food in the World

Salmon is perhaps the most prominent example of how fish farming has led us astray. Food testing reveals farmed salmon is one of the most toxic foods in the world, having more in common with junk food than health food. Studies highlighting the seriousness of the problem include:

 

  • A global assessment of farmed salmon published in 2004, which found 13 persistent organic pollutants in the flesh of the fish. On average, polychlorinated biphenyl (PCB) concentrations in farmed salmon was eight times higher than in wild salmon, prompting the authors to conclude that “Risk analysis indicates that consumption of farmed Atlantic salmon may pose health risks that detract from the beneficial effects of fish consumption.”

 

The International Agency for Research on Cancer and the Environmental Protection Agency classify PCBs as probably carcinogenic.

 

According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, PCBs elicit a significant number of health conditions in animal studies, including cancer, immunosuppression, neurotoxicity and reproductive and developmental toxicity.3 Disturbingly, research suggests contaminated fish is the most common source of PCB exposure, as the chemicals accumulate and build up in the fat tissue.4

 

  • A 2005 investigation5 by another group of scientists concluded even relatively infrequent consumption of farmed salmon may be harmful to your health thanks to the elevated dioxin levels in the fish.

 

  • Toxicology researcher Jerome Ruzzin, who has tested a number of different food groups sold in Norway for toxins, discovered farmed salmon contain five times more toxins than any other food tested. (In light of his own findings, Ruzzin has stopped eating farmed salmon.)

 

  • A 2011 study6 published in PLOS ONE found chronic consumption of farmed salmon caused insulin resistance, glucose intolerance and obesity in mice, thanks to the persistent organic pollutants (POPs) found in the fish.

 

According to the authors, “Our data indicate that intake of farmed salmon fillet contributes to several metabolic disorders linked to Type 2 diabetes and obesity, and suggest a role of POPs in these deleterious effects. Overall, these findings may participate to improve nutritional strategies for the prevention and therapy of insulin resistance.”

 

Researchers Warn Farmed Salmon May Contain Fire Retardant Chemicals

Now, researchers warn7,8 farmed Atlantic salmon sold in the U.S. and U.K. may also contain polybrominated diphenyl ethers (PBDEs), toxic POPs that have been restricted or banned in the U.S. and many European countries due to their toxic influence on child development.9 As reported by The Star,10 “[A] new study by the University of Pittsburgh has found evidence of PBDEs in food fed to farmed salmon — even in those in supposedly PBDE-free environments.”

 

PBDEs are a class of chemicals that for years were used as flame retardants, and while restrictions were placed on some of the chemicals in this class in 2004, they can still be found in older products — and in the environment. China, Thailand and Vietnam — three areas that process significant amounts of electronic waste — are known to have higher levels of PBDEs in the environment.

 

In more recent years, flame retardant pollution has raised serious concern, as these chemicals build up in the environment over time and are in many areas now found in both ground water and open waters.

 

Health risks associated with these chemicals, including PBDEs, include infertility, birth defects, neurodevelopmental delays,11 reduced IQ,12 hormone disruptions13 and cancer. In fact, flame retardant chemicals have been identified as one of 17 “high priority” chemical groups that should be avoided to reduce breast cancer.14,15

 

Toxic Fish Food Blamed for Farmed Salmon Toxicity

You’re probably familiar with the saying that “you are what you eat.” However, a key take-home message here is that “you are what your food eats.” In other words, whatever the animal you eat consumed, you consume also, which means you really need to know the source of the animals’ feed as well. In the case of farmed fish, toxins in the fish feed and environmental concentrations of the chemicals have been identified as the two primary culprits.

 

According to the authors, when the fish are raised in areas with high PBDE concentrations in the water, the feed becomes a relatively minor contributor. In PBDE-free waters, on the other hand, elevated concentrations of these toxins in the feed may be high enough to end up on your plate. As noted by lead author Carla Ng, assistant professor of civil and environmental engineering at the University of Pittsburgh’s Swanson School of Engineering:16

 

“Otherwise clean and well-regulated environments, contaminated feed can be thousands of times more significant than the location of the farm for determining the PBDE content of salmon fillets … The international food trade system is becoming increasingly global in nature and this applies to animal feed as well.

 

Fish farming operations may import their feed or feed ingredients from a number of countries, including those without advanced food safety regulations. The United States and much of Europe banned several PBDEs in 2004 because of environmental and public health concerns. PBDEs can act as endocrine disruptors and cause developmental effects. Children are particularly vulnerable.”

 

What Makes the Fish Feed so Toxic?

One of the main ingredients in farmed salmon feed is fatty fish such as eel, selected for their high protein and fat content. The problem is, many toxins readily bind to fat, and the fish feed industry is using fish deemed unfit for human consumption due to elevated toxicity. As you might expect, when the fish used in fish feed contain toxic levels of pollutants, they get incorporated into the feed pellets.

 

One significant source of fish for farmed salmon feed is the Baltic Sea, which is well-known for its elevated pollution levels. Nine industrialized countries dump their toxic waste into this closed body of water, which has rendered many Baltic Sea fish inedible. In Sweden, fish mongers are actually required to warn patrons about the potential toxicity of Baltic fish.

 

According to government recommendations, you should not eat fatty fish like herring more than once a week, and if you’re pregnant, fish from the Baltic should be avoided altogether. As mentioned by Ng, fish farms may also import their feed, or individual ingredients from other countries with lax regulations and significant pollution.

 

Toxic Manufacturing Processes Add to the Problem

Some of the toxicity also stems from the manufacturing process of the feed pellets. The fatty fish are first cooked, resulting in protein meal and oil. While the oil has high levels of dioxins and PCBs, a chemical called ethoxyquin is added to the protein powder as an “antioxidant,” which further adds to the toxicity of the final product. Ethoxyquin, developed as a pesticide by Monsanto in the 1950s, is one of the best kept secrets of the fish food industry — and one of the most toxic.

 

The use of ethoxyquin is strictly regulated on fruits, vegetables and in meat, but not in fish, because it was never intended for such use. Fish feed manufacturers never informed health authorities they were using this pesticide as a means to prevent the fats from oxidizing and going rancid, so its presence in farmed fish was never addressed. Disturbingly, testing reveals farmed fish can contain levels of ethoxyquin that are up to 20 times higher than the level allowed in fruits, vegetables and meats.

 

What’s more, the effects of this chemical on human health have never been established. The only research done on ethoxyquin and human health was a thesis by Victoria Bohne, a former researcher in Norway who discovered ethoxyquin can cross the blood-brain barrier and may have carcinogenic effects. Bohne was pressured to leave her research job after attempts were made to falsify and downplay her findings.

 

Environmental Pollution Is Also Affecting Wild Fish, Including Some Salmon

Salmon is one fish species looked to as an indicator of environmental conditions, and salmon have become increasingly toxic. While farmed salmon is by far the worst, even wild salmon can contain unwanted pollutants. In a study of salmon found in Puget Sound, researchers discovered 40 contaminants, including drugs, in the flesh of the fish.

 

Some of the drugs were found at levels known to interfere with growth, reproduction and behavior. No one knows exactly how this chemical cocktail affects the fish, especially as they are exposed in combination. In all, the study found 81 of 151 contaminants tested for in Puget Sound off the coast of Washington.

 

Aside from toxins already mentioned above, such as PCBs, PBDEs and other POPs, researchers have also found a long line of pesticides — including the long-banned DDT — at concerning levels in fish off the coast of California. And despite the Clean Water Act, enacted nearly 40 years ago, there are areas of the U.S. where the water is so contaminated with mercury that residents are warned to refrain from eating any locally caught fish.

 

Microplastic Pollution — Another Increasingly Common Seafood Hazard

The fish you eat may also come with a side order of microplastic,20 as 13 metric tons of plastic enter the waterways every year. Once consumed, microplastic particles tend to remain in the body and accumulate, becoming increasingly concentrated in the bodies of animals higher up the food chain.

 

Scientists are still unsure of the effect this may have on those who eat the fish, but common sense would suggest it might not be entirely harmless, considering the fact that microplastic fibers soak up toxins like a sponge, concentrating PCBs, flame retardant chemicals, pesticides and anything else found in the water.

 

Evidence also suggests these microscopic particles can cross cellular membranes, causing damage and inflammation inside the cell. According to a 2016 report21 by the British Department for Environment Food and Rural Affairs [DEFRA], microplastics have been found in a wide variety of sea creatures, from zooplankton to whales and everything in between.

 

According to this report, “microplastics are present in seafood sold for human consumption, including mussels in North Sea mussel farms and oysters from the Atlantic.” Eating six oysters could introduce about 50 plastic microbeads into your body and, according to DEFRA, this kind of contamination may indeed “pose a threat to food safety.” Other studies have found one-third of the fish caught in the English Channel contain microbeads, as do 83 percent of scampi sold in the U.K.22

 

Nutritional Differences Between Farmed and Wild Salmon

As mentioned at the beginning, farmed salmon is also nutritionally less desirable than wild, which actually ties in with its toxicity. One significant nutritional difference is the fat content. Wild salmon contains about 5 to 7 percent fat, whereas the farmed variety can contain anywhere from 14.5 to 34 percent.

 

This elevated fat content is a direct result of the processed high-fat feed that farmed salmon are given, and since they contain more fat, they also accumulate higher amounts of toxins. Even when raised in similarly contaminated conditions, farmed salmon will absorb more toxins than the wild fish because of this.

 

But farmed salmon doesn’t just contain more fat overall; another nutritional travesty is its radically skewed ratios of omega-3 to omega-6 fats.23 Half a fillet of wild Atlantic salmon contains about 3,996 milligrams (mg) of omega-3 and 341 mg of omega-6.24 Half a fillet of farmed salmon from the Atlantic contains just a bit more omega-3 — 4,961 mg — but an astounding 1,944 mg of omega-6;25 more than 5.5 times more than wild salmon.

 

While you need both omega-3 and omega-6 fats, the ratio between the two is important and should ideally be about 1-to-1. The standard American diet is already heavily skewed toward omega-6, thanks to the prevalence of processed foods, and with farmed salmon, that unhealthy imbalance is further magnified rather than corrected.

 

A Norwegian report on farmed fish feed ingredients26 talks about the negative impacts of the antinutritional factors of plant proteins and other additives in the feed. Some of the most common ingredients in farmed fish feed include soybeans, rapeseed/canola oil, sunflower meal and oil, corn gluten meal from corn grains, wheat gluten, pulses (dry, edible seeds of field peas and faba beans), palm oil, and peanut meal and oil — none of which are natural wild salmon foods.

 

However, as the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) explains,27 Atlantic farmed salmon feeds can also contain animal by-products from poultry, meat meal, blood and hydrolyzed feathers. Additives such as enzymes, crustacean products (to color the salmon flesh), vitamins and selenium are also added — and again, none these are ingredients that any wild salmon has ever encountered and all are about as far from a species-appropriate diet as you can get.

 

Salmon Farming Is Not a Green Solution

More than half of the fish Americans eat now comes from fish farms. Aquaculture promotes itself as a sustainable solution to overfishing, but when you consider it takes 1.5 to 8 kilograms (3.3 to 17.6 pounds) of wild fish to produce a single kilogram (2.2 pounds) of farmed salmon, you start to realize there are significant holes in that claim. In reality, the aquaculture industry is actually contributing heavily to the depletion of wild fish stocks rather than saving it.

 

A salmon farm can hold upward of 2 million salmon in a relatively small amount of space. As with land-based factory farms where animals are kept in crowded conditions, fish farms are plagued with diseases that spread rapidly among the stressed fish. Sea lice, pancreas disease and infectious salmon anemia virus have spread all across Norway, yet consumers have not been informed of these fish pandemics, and sale of diseased fish continues unabated.

 

To stave off disease-causing pests, a number of dangerous pesticides are used, including one known to have neurotoxic effects. Workers who apply this pesticide must wear full protective clothing, yet these chemicals are dumped right into open water, where it spreads with local currents.

 

The pesticides used have been shown to affect fish DNA, causing genetic effects. Estimates suggest about half of all farmed cod, for example, are deformed due to genetic mutations. What’s worse, female cod that escape from farms are known to mate with wild cod, spreading the genetic mutations and deformities into the wild population.

 

Genetically Modified Salmon May Hit US Grocers by 2019

It’s become quite clear that fish farms are not a viable solution to overfishing. If anything, they’re making matters worse, destroying the marine ecosystem at a far more rapid clip. Consumers also need to be aware that some farmed salmon may be genetically engineered (GE) to boot. AquaBounty salmon, engineered to grow twice as fast as typical farm-raised salmon, received U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval in November 2015, and could be on sale in the U.S. by 2019.

 

Crazy enough, the FDA is not regulating Aquabounty’s salmon as food. It chose to review it as a drug. All GE animals, it turns out, starting with this GE salmon, will be regulated under the new animal drug provisions of the Federal Food, Drug and Cosmetic Act, “because the recombinant DNA (rDNA) construct introduced into the animal meets the definition of a drug.” Yet the reason given for not requiring the fish to carry some form of GE label is that it’s nutritionally equivalent to conventional farm-raised Atlantic salmon.

 

The unnatural growth rate was achieved by inserting the DNA from two other fish, a growth-promoting gene from a Chinook salmon and a “promoter” gene from the eel-like ocean pout. This genetic tweaking results in fish with a chronic, continuous release of growth hormone. While a typical salmon might take up to 36 months to reach market size (and grow only in spurts during warm weather), AquaAdvantage GM salmon are ready for market in just 16 to 18 months.

 

The fish are being grown on land and have several other supposed safeguards in place to prevent both escape and breeding with wild populations but, in nature, nothing is foolproof. This became readily evident last year, when thousands of land-based Atlantic salmon escaped when the pens were broken asunder by a passing storm.

 

Are There Any Healthy Seafood Options Left?

So, what’s the answer? Unfortunately, the vast majority of fish — even when wild caught — is frequently too contaminated to eat on a frequent basis. Most major waterways in the world are contaminated with mercury, heavy metals, POPs and agricultural chemicals.

wildalaskansalmon.jpgWild Alaskan Salmon

This is why, as a general rule, I no longer recommend eating fish on a regular basis. There are exceptions, however. One is authentic wild-caught Alaskan salmon, the nutritional benefits of which I believe still outweigh any potential contamination. The risk of wild Alaskan salmon accumulating high amounts of mercury and other toxins is reduced because of its short life cycle, which is only about three years.

 

Alaskan salmon (not to be confused with Atlantic salmon) is not allowed to be farmed and is therefore always wild-caught. Canned salmon labeled “Alaskan salmon” is a less expensive alternative to salmon fillets. Remember that wild salmon is quite lean, so the fat marks — those white stripes you see in the meat — are on the thin side. If a fish is pale pink with wide fat marks, the salmon is likely farmed. Avoid Atlantic salmon, as salmon bearing this label are almost always farmed.

 

Another exception is smaller fish with short lifecycles, which also tend to be better alternatives in terms of fat content, such as sardines and anchovies. With their low contamination risk and higher nutritional value, they are a win-win alternative. Other good choices include herring and fish roe (caviar), which is full of important phospholipids that nourish your mitochondrial membranes.

 

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Foods, Uncategorized

Asparagus, Canadian Bacon, and Cheese Frittata: Low Carb

Health and Wellness Associates

EHS – Telehealth

 

Asparagus, Canadian Bacon, and Cheese Frittata: Low Carb

 

asparagusplyufritta

Ingredients

5 large eggs

4 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon kosher salt

Freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces medium asparagus stalks (about 8), woody stems trimmed, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

4 medium slices Canadian bacon (about 2 ounces), coarsely chopped

 

Directions

Position an oven rack in the upper part of the oven and preheat the broiler. Whisk the eggs, 3 tablespoons of the cheese, the milk, lemon zest, salt, and pepper to taste together in a bowl.

 

Heat the olive oil in an 8-inch nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the asparagus and Canadian bacon, and cook until the asparagus is crisp-tender, about 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low, pour the egg mixture into the skillet, stirring gently to distribute the fillings evenly. Cover, and cook until the bottom sets, but does not get too brown, about 9 minutes. Remove the cover, scatter the remaining 1 tablespoon of cheese over the surface. Run the frittata under the broiler until the top sets and browns slightly, about 1 minute. Set aside for about 5 minutes before unmolding. Slip the frittata out of the pan onto a cutting board, cut into wedges. Serve warm or room temperature.

 

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