You’ve gone meatless, but do you really know what’s in your breath mints and “heart healthy” peanuts? KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, chats with me and I reveal twelve processed foods that may seem meatless but are derived from animals (cows, pigs, and/or fish) or may contain some animal by-products.
1. Jell-O® and Candy: Examples include gummy candies, Starburst chews, Altoids: Many foods contain gelatin which is a protein derived from the collagen of cow or pig bones, cartilage, tendons, and skin. Gelatins are used as thickening or stabilizing agents in a variety of candies and gelatin-containing desserts.
2. Peanuts: Some brands of peanuts, such as Planters® Dry Roasted Peanuts, contain gelatin. The gelatin helps the salt, spices and flavorings adhere to the nuts.
At first glance, they all look the same! And by the end of the day, the different varieties are intermixed on the shelves.
If you grab the wrong one, you can end up with just plain peanuts or peanuts with salt OR…
Numerous studies have linked a high intake of red meat or processed meats to colon cancer. KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, has me explain why eating animal protein and fat are to blame.
Bile is to Blame
Bile assists with digestion by breaking down fats. Think of bile as “Mother Nature’s degreaser”. This greenish yellow secretion is made and released by the liver, then concentrated and stored in the gallbladder until fat enters your small intestine.
Bile acids stimulate the growth of bacteria, which convert the primary bile acids into secondary bile acids.
Bile acids, particularly secondary bile acids, have long been suspected as being cancer-causing.
Eating more fat means more fat and bile acids in the colon.
High Saturated Fats in the Diet
A high intake of saturated fat is associated with high levels of bile, which is usually evident in colon cancer patients.
High saturated fats + high levels of bile are factors that produce colorectal cancer tumors.
Meat Sources High in Saturated Fat
Meat – e.g., fatty cuts of beef, pork, lamb
Processed / deli meats – salami, sausages, chicken skin
How many times have you heard someone say, “I can’t eat fruit. It has too much sugar.” Are you worried about blood sugar spikes? If so, you might want to rethink your fructose fears.
Table sugar and high fructose corn syrup are known to have adverse side effects, but what about the sugar found naturally in fruit and fruit juice? Can you eat too much fruit? Today I chatted with KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, and broke down the facts on fruit.
Fruit, Table Sugar, and High Fructose Corn Syrup — What’s the difference?
Table sugar and its synthetic sister, high fructose corn syrup are made up of two molecules: glucose + fructose, a.k.a. “industrial fructose”.
Fruits contain “naturally-occurring” fructose. (Fructose is one of the three building blocks of carbohydrates.)
Industrial fructose is linked to hypertension, belly fat, high triglycerides, and liver disease.
Is Eating Too Much Fruit (Fructose) Bad for You?
Per a University of Eastern Finland study, possible reasons that fruit and fruit juice did not spike blood sugar:
1. Fruit had a more solid consistency: Thickness in a fruit puree may slow digestion vs. gulping down pure sugar water (e.g., soda).
2. Fruit contains soluble fiber: Soluble fiber forms a thick gel in the intestines which slows the breakdown of sugars. Fructose is bound to the fiber, so it does not absorb as quickly.
3. Fruit contains phytonutrients, also called phytochemicals: “Phyto” refers to the Greek word for plant. These chemicals help protect plants from germs, fungi, bugs, and other threats and thus, provide protection in humans. Phytonutrients slow sugars traveling from the intestines into the blood stream.
Eat Berries to Slow Blood Sugar Spikes
Low-fiber starches (e.g., white bread, white pasta, white flour pretzels, instant oatmeal, corn flakes, and soda crackers) will also spike your blood sugar.
Per another study with starches (white and rye bread) eaten with various berry combinations, the berries suppressed the blood sugar and insulin spikes. So if you eat a starchy, low fiber food on occasion, be sure to eat berries.
What Would Happen if You Ate 20 Servings of Fruit a Day for Several Weeks?
Lifestyle diseases characterize diseases that occur primarily as a result of a person’s daily habits. Some of the main contributing factors include bad food habits, physical inactivity, stress, and an aging biological clock — all of which contribute to visceral (intra-abdominal) fat.
When it comes to your health, where you store your fat makes a difference. Are you shaped like an apple or more like a pear? KRON 4 Morning News Weekend anchor, Marty Gonzalez, and I talk about the difference between the fat that has settled on your hips and thighs versus what you’re carrying upfront.
All Fat is Not Equal
Fat accumulated in the lower body, such as the hips, thighs, and buttocks (the “pear shape”) is subcutaneous fat. Subcutaneous fatlies under your skin and above your muscles — it’s the “pinchable stuff”. Subcutaneous fat is measured by pinching your skin in a several different locations.
Visceral fat, a.k.a. intra-abdominal, belly, or deep fat, (the “pear shape”) lies out of reach and is tucked deep within your abdominal cavity where it pads the spaces between and around your VISCERA — your internal organs like your heart, lungs, liver, and other organs.
It’s also stored in the “omentum” — an apron-like flap of tissue that sits underneath the abdominal muscles and blankets the intestines. As the omentum fills with fat, it gets harder and thicker.
Lifestyle Diseases Linked to Visceral Fat
Research shows that people with “apple-shaped” bodies face more health risks than those with “pear-shaped” bodies. You need some visceral fat to cushion your organs, but too much of it has been correlated with the following health conditions:
Kaiser Permanente of Northern California studied of 6,500 members for an average of 36 years, from they were in their 40’s to 70’s. The study concluded subjects with higher visceral fat had a higher risk of dementia than those with less visceral fat. Possible speculation of the trial is that substances such as leptin, a hormone released by the belly fat, may have some adverse effects on the brain. Leptin plays a role in appetite regulation but also in learning and memory.
Researchers are not clear why visceral fat plays a larger role in insulin resistance — which raises risk for diabetes — than other fat.
Why Visceral Fat is a Health Risk
Visceral fat is most dangerous because it is biologically active — that is, it acts like an organ producing hormones and other substances that have harmful effects.
Excess visceral fat is near the portal vein which carries blood from your intestines to your liver. Substances (e.g., free fatty acids) released by visceral fat enter the portal vein and travel to your liver where they can affect the production of fats in the blood. Visceral fat is directly linked to:
See how certain types of food can soften a chicken bone — just like your enamel. Your toothless grin at six may have been cute back then, but as an adult, it’s not so adorable. Check out my ‘chicken bone experiment’ to demonstrate dental health to Marty Gonzalez, anchor of KRON 4 Weekend News. We all know that candy and sweets aren’t good for your teeth, but preventing tooth decay and preserving your aging teeth involve more than what NOT to eat…
Enamel Enemy No. 1
Your enamel is the hard outer layer on your teeth that protects them from harmful acids. Your teeth are covered with a sticky film of bacteria called plaque. When sugars from the food you eat/drink mix together with plaque, acid is formed. SUGAR + PLAQUE = ACID
Acids attack your teeth. Repeated attacks can cause the tooth enamel to break down (soften) which can lead to cavities. When acid levels in your mouth drop below 5.5 on the pH scale, tooth enamel begins to be destroyed.
On the pH scale (a measure of acidity in chemistry), 1 is a strong acid and 7 is neutral.
Coca-Cola is More Acidic than Vinegar
Everyday food and drinks contain varying amounts of acid and sugar (an acid producer). Acids dissolve the calcium and minerals out of bones to make them soft. Similarly, the acids that attack your teeth can erode your enamel (by removing minerals from the enamel) making them susceptible to wear, pain and decay.
pH levels of the following drinks:
Water = 7 (neutral)
Milk = 6.8
Fruit juices = 3.3 to 3.8
Vinegar = 2.9
Coca-Cola = 2.5 (with 9 1/3 teaspoons of added sugar in a 12-oz. can)
Foods that Build Strong Teeth
Foods that contain bone-building vitamins and minerals (e.g., magnesium, calcium, and vitamin D) will help you preserve your aging teeth.
Magnesium is an especially important mineral in strengthening aging teeth and bones, so include plenty of:
Nuts, nut butters, seeds
Dried beans, lentils, whole grains
Green leafy vegetables. dried fruits
2. Calcium and Vitamin D
In general, dairy products are good sources, but non-dairy foods are also excellent sources of bone-building calcium. They include:
Dark-green leafy green vegetables (e.g., kale, spinach, arugula, basil)