Tag Archives: awareness

August 26th, Fast-Food Friday

Silhouette of cheese burger and summer garden vegetables

Foodfacts.com can’t ignore the relationship between fast-food sales now back on a steady incline; and reports of the obesity epidemic worsening. Therefore, we would like to deem this day as “Fast-food Friday,” or a day when we try to post the worst of the worst in hopes of steering consumers further away from drive-up windows. Also, we’ll throw in some healthier menu items throughout the day for those who may not have the time or resources to prepare their own meals (we’re not going to judge.)

We know that many of our Foodfacts.com followers are well aware of the health effects fast foods impose on our bodies, however, there are clearly still some people out there who may choose to ignore the facts, or maybe just out of the loop. Share this information and HELP US OUT in hopes of educating others.

Get to know the controversial Food Additive known as Saccharin

saccharin
Saccharin
An artificial sweetener 300 to 500 times sweeter than sugar. Discovered in 1879, it’s the oldest of the five FDA-approved artificial sweeteners. Starting in 1907, the USDA began investigating saccharin as a direct result of the Pure Food and Drug Act. Harvey Wiley, then the director of the bureau of chemistry for the USDA, viewed it as an illegal substitution of a valuable ingredient (sugar) by a less valuable ingredient. In a clash that had career consequences, Wiley told then President Theodore Roosevelt that “Everyone who ate that sweet corn was deceived. He thought he was eating sugar, when in point of fact he was eating a coal tar product totally devoid of food value and extremely injurious to health.” But Roosevelt himself was a consumer of saccharin, and in a heated exchange, Roosevelt angrily answered Wiley by stating, “Anybody who says saccharin is injurious to health is an idiot.”[15] The episode proved the undoing of Wiley’s career.

In 1911, the Food Inspection Decision 135 stated that foods containing saccharin were adulterated. However in 1912, Food Inspection Decision 142 stated that saccharin was not harmful.

More controversy was stirred in 1969 with the discovery of files from the FDA’s investigations of 1948 and 1949. These investigations, which had originally argued against saccharin use, were shown to prove little about saccharin being harmful to human health. In 1972 the USDA made an attempt to completely ban the substance.[16] However, this attempt was also unsuccessful and the sweetener is widely used in the United States; it is the third-most popular after sucralose and aspartame.

In the European Union saccharin is also known by the E number (additive code) E954.

The current status of saccharin is that it is allowed in most countries, and countries like Canada are considering lifting their previous ban of it as a food additive.[17] The concerns that it is associated with bladder cancer were proved to be without foundation in experiments on primates.[18]

Saccahrin was formerly on California’s list of chemicals known to the state to cause cancer for the purposes of Proposition 65, but it was delisted in 2001

FOUND IN Diet foods, chewing gum, toothpaste, beverages, sugar-free candy, and Sweet ‘N Low.

WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW Rat studies in the early ‘70s showed saccharin to cause bladder cancer, and the FDA, reacting to these studies, enacted a mandatory warning label to be printed on every saccharin-containing product. The label was removed after 20 years, but the question over saccharin’s safety was never resolved. More recent studies show that rats on saccharin-rich diets gain more weight than those on high-sugar diets.

Alcohol ‘a major cause of cancer’

alcohol-has-no-effect-on-prostate-cancer-2
About one in 10 cancers in men and one in 33 in women in western European countries are caused by current and past alcohol consumption, according to a study released on Friday.

For some types of cancer, the rates are significantly higher, it said.

In 2008, for men, 44, 25 and 33 percent of upper digestive track, liver and colon cancers respectively were caused by alcohol in six of the countries examined, the study found.

The countries were Britain, Italy, Spain, Greece, Germany and Denmark.

The study also showed that half of these cancer cases occurred in men who drank more than a recommended daily limit of 24 grammes of alcohol, roughly two small glasses of wine or a pint of beer.

The cancer rates for women in the same countries, along with the Netherlands and France, was 18 percent for throat, mouth and stomach, 17 percent for liver, five percent for breast and four percent for colon cancer.

Four-fifths of these cases were due to daily consumption above recommended limits, set for women at half the level of men.

The International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC) has long maintained that there is a causal link between alcohol consumption and cancers, especially of the liver, colon, upper digestive tract and, for women, breast.

But few studies have tried to connect the dots across a large population between cancer rates and total alcohol consumption, or the proportion of the disease burden occurring in people who drink more than guidelines would allow.

“Our data show that many cancer cases could have been avoided if alcohol consumption is limited to two alcoholic drinks per day in men and one alcoholic drink per day in women,” said Madlen Schutze, an epidemiologist at the German Institute of Human Nutrition in Potsdam and lead author of the study.

The findings also suggest that the limits set by many national health authorities may not be stringent enough to avoid the disease, she said.

“Even more cancer cases would be prevented if people reduced their alcohol intake to below recommended guidelines or stopped drinking alcohol at all,” she said in a statement.

The results, published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ), are drawn from the so-called EPIC cancer survey of 363,000 men and women who have been tracked since the mid-1990s.

Other risk factors that might have also led to cancer — especially smoking and obesity — were taken into account, the researchers said.

Nearly 44 percent of men in Germany exceeded the 24-gramme daily limit, followed by Denmark (43.6 percent) and Britain (41.1 percent).

Among women, Germany still topped the list, with 43.5 percent of women there exceeding limit, with Denmark (41 percent) and Britain (37.7 percent) coming in second and third.

Article provided by Yahoo Health

The 5 Saltiest Meals of 2011

Imagine pouring one and a half teaspoons of salt directly into your mouth. Can you taste it? Blah, blech! You’d shed an ocean of tears trying to choke down those tongue-tingling crystals.

Yet, if you’re a typical American, you eat that much salt every single day. And that’s one primary reason why 50 percent of us are considered at risk for high blood pressure.

I know, that sounds impossible—you seldom if ever reach for the salt shaker, right? Well, you don’t have to: Data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention show that most of us consume about 3,400 mg of sodium a day, but only 5 percent of it comes from home cooking. Some occurs in foods naturally, but the overwhelming majority of the sodium you eat—77 percent—comes foods sold in supermarkets and restaurants. Heart disease is the number-one killer of Americans, and sodium is one of the primary culprits.

We should be eating no more than 2,300 mg a day, and less—about 1,500 mg—if we’re at risk for high blood pressure. And yet, while researching my latest book, The Eat This, Not That! No-Diet Diet, I uncovered countless restaurant meals with one, two, even three days’ worth of salt in them. Think I’m exaggerating? Take a peek at the saltiest dishes coming from America’s kitchens.

1. WORST PASTA: Ruby Tuesday Mediterranean Shrimp Pasta
3,933 mg sodium
1,086 calories
63 g fat
ruby_tuesday_med_pasta

Sodium Equivalent: 11 Large Orders of McDonald’s French Fries

Somebody needs to tell Ruby Tuesday that to make “Mediterranean” pasta, you don’t need to actually boil the noodles in Mediterranean seawater. Ruby Tuesday makes only one pasta dish with fewer than 2,000 mg of sodium (almost an entire day’s worth!), and it has only two pasta dishes with fewer than 3,000 mg. The other four pasta dishes on the menu each have more than 3,000 mg.

2. WORST BREAKFAST:IHOP Thick-Cut Bone-In Ham & Eggs
4,310 mg sodium
1,170 calories
61 g fat (19 g saturated)
ihop_bone-in_ham_eggs1
Sodium Equivalent: 37 servings of Planter’s Cocktail Peanuts (that’s more than three 12-oz cans!)

IHOP is another chain known for egregious sodium levels. Even foods that sound relatively sodium-free are swimming in the stuff. Take an order of Buttermilk Pancakes. One order—5 pancakes—has 2,640 mg sodium. Things turn especially ugly when you start adding meat to the plate. You’d be wise to avoid any dish with steak or ham, which consistently contribute to a total of more than 2,000 mg per dish.

3. WORST “HEALTHY” ENTREE: Applebee’s Weight Watchers Chipotle Lime Chicken
4,990 mg sodium
490 calories
12 g fat (2 g saturated)
salt
Sodium Equivalent: 31 servings of Ruffles (that’s more than two “Family Size” bags!)

Avoiding salt at Applebee’s is nearly impossible. Not even the “healthy” selections pass muster. The six items on the Under 550 Calories menu average 2,341 mg of sodium per entree. The five items on the Weight Watchers menu average 2,448 mg. Even the side dishes are dangerous. A side of Loaded Mashed Potatoes will cost you 1,340 mg, and a side of Broccoli Cheddar Soup will cost you 1,690. If you order anything off this menu, you’d be wise to stick to sodium-free foods for the rest of the day.

4. SALTIEST APPETIZER: Applebee’s Appetizer Sampler
6,830 mg sodium
2,590 calories
173 g fat (54 g saturated)
app
Sodium Equivalent: 370 Funyuns (that’s more than four bags of ‘em!)

Restaurant appetizer samplers are notoriously riddled with sodium, but Applebee’s is a full-blown tour de force of heart-stopping potential. Piled onto this plate are a bacon and cheese quesadilla, fried cheese sticks, spinach and artichoke dip and chips, and boneless buffalo wings. Just one of those things is bad enough, but add all four and you have three days’ worth of sodium and more than an entire day of calories—in just one appetizer!

5. SALTIEST CHINESE: P.F. Chang’s Double Pan-Fried Noodles with Pork
7,900 mg sodium
1,652 calories
84 g fat (12 g saturated)
pf
Sodium Equivalent: 263 Triscuit crackers (that’s 4.3 boxes!)

PF Changs’ menu is probably the saltiest in America; even a bowl of Hot and Sour Soup has 5,000 mg. For that half of the population that’s supposed to max out at 1,500 mg daily sodium, the Double Pan-Fried Noodles with Pork harbors more than five times the limit. Even for those in the higher tier, it still represents three-and-a-half days worth of sodium consumption. If you end up at Chang’s, let the Steamed Buddha Bowl be your safety plate. But remember: It’s got to be steamed. Order it stir-fried and the same dish suddenly leaps to 2,740 mg sodium. Yikes.

Information provided by Menshealth.com

Dealing With Food Allergies During The Holidays

thanksgiving-food

Our blog of the day comes from a mother who has a son that suffers from multiple food allergies. In this blog she gives some tips on how to deal with food
allergies during holidays and family functions.

“Holiday gatherings almost always center around food, folks, and fun, with a huge emphasis on food! That’s great except when you or, one of your children,
has food allergies. It can lead to some awkward times and hurt feelings. Since my main goal for my family is to live a thriving life, in spite of allergies, one thing I have to do is to plan ahead!

This past year Thanksgiving was at my house, so the planning and meal prepping was all done by my family, and we are getting more and more used to cooking dairy and egg free, all though we certainly haven’t arrived! But eating over at someone else’s can be no problem
with a little planning ahead.

First, figure out your game plan. Where are you going? Grandma’s? Cousin Eddie’s? George’s next door? How aware and adaptable are they in regards to food
allergies? I ask because some people are more than accommodating and will be happy to include things that are “safe” for you or your little one to eat. And
some people will look at you cluelessly when you even talk about allergies. You mean you can’t have milk? Only not cow’s milk? Is there another kind of milk?
Get out, they can make milk from nuts, is that even real? And who would drink it? You know what I mean!

Anyway, depending on the severity of the allergies, if the host/hostess is willing to cook something new, have a few recipes ready that you’d like to suggest. If your allergies are so severe and you don’t want to
risk a reaction from cross contamination, tell them your dilemma, and ask how they’d feel about you bringing your own food. Now I don’t mean a full course meal for everyone, just pack what YOU would need to eat for the meal. Or if that would be too awkward, make up a couple of recipes for you to share with everyone. This not only ensures you will have something you know is safe for you
to eat, but then you can also watch their surprised faces when you tell them that the delicious, creamy, pumpkin pie you made is, in fact, dairy/egg free.

I actually had someone say to me once, at a gathering, “I thought when you said that dessert you made was dairy free and egg free it would probably mean taste free, too. I was really surprised to find out how good it really was!” It was good to get feedback from someone on a new recipe, and it also opened the door
for me to talk about my son’s food allergies, raising awareness about it.

With all that being said, remember the best laid plans can go awry. Something I try and do when we go to a gathering and I’m not sure how it will go, is bring
snacks just, in case, there is nothing for my son to eat. Something quick and easy to grab and bring to gatherings are fruit and vegetable trays that are
already prepared (discard the calorie laden, milk infested dips that are usually included, though), this also, always insures there is something he likes, that
is safe to eat! ”

To read more of her blogs go to:

http://www.thrivinglifewithallergies.blogspot.com/