REAL FOOD

The Smoke Points of Cooking Oils

Many people have a long held belief that corn oil and sunflower oil are better than the saturated fats in animal products. According to this study, that isn’t true at all. Cooking with vegetable oils releases toxic chemicals linked to cancer and other chronic illnesses, according to leading scientists, who are now recommending food be fried in olive oil, coconut oil, butter or even lard.

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Should You Stop Refrigerating Your Eggs?

Eggs. They are amazing for you. A true health bomb. I eat eggs every darn day (seriously, I never miss a day). I eat them boiled. I scramble. I sunny side up. I eat them in corn shell tacos. I eat them with mushrooms. I cook them in coconut oil. And in every situation, they are EggTastic.

But on the daily, my Internet experience comes with a host of crazy Internet headlines. Some tell me I’m too skinny or too fat. Some tell me I’m watching too much TV. Others tell me that the world is ending next year. And then one headline, well it tells me that I’m a darn fool for refrigerating my eggs.

What’s that you say you evil Internet headline?

Of course I have to refrigerate my eggs, I’d die if I didn’t (from something, I think). Refrigerators also come with an egg rack, if eggs didn’t go in there, then why the heck would I have an egg rack in my refrigerator? You see, common sense at play is a beautiful thing. But of course, my anecdotal assumptions aren’t incredibly scientific.

I’ve read some of the articles telling me I can leave my eggs out on my dresser drawer for days without incurring any devastating effects. I’ve googled. I’ve asked friends. I’ve called random people in Amsterdam to make sure they are actually alive and then asked if they’ve eaten eggs recently. I’ve even asked the eggs themselves. Here is my take on the egg situation.

Eggs come out of a chicken (we knew this). When eggs come out of the chicken, they possess a layer of protection. It is a barely visible layer of protection. The kicker comes now…..The United States, Australia and Scandinavia wash this layer off in a shower with soap. BOOM! The layer is gone. This compromises the egg’s natural ability to protect itself from bacteria, namely Salmonella. The layer also makes sure water and oxygen don’t get in. Once this layer is gone, the egg can no longer protect itself and refrigeration is essential to preserving their protection.

But wait, why do Americans do that?

Well, there is a funny hook here. Americans, Japanese and Australians just think chickens are super dirty species. I mean, that’s the start at least.

Here is a great excerpt from NPR.com over the matter.

Salmonella enteritidiscan infect a chicken’s ovaries, contaminating a yolk before the shell firms up around it. Cooking usually kills the bacteria before they can harm you; still, eggs contaminated with salmonella are responsible for about 142,000 illnesses a year in the U.S., according to the Food and Drug Administration.

In some European countries, egg-laying hens are vaccinated against salmonella. In the U.S., vaccination is not required, but eggs must be washed and refrigerated from farm to store, and producers must follow a host of other safety measures.

“They’re different approaches to basically achieve the same result,” says Vincent Guyonnet, a poultry veterinarian and scientific adviser to the International Egg Commission. “We don’t have massive [food safety] issues on either side of the Atlantic. Both methods seem to work.”

So now the million dollar question, do we really have to refrigerate them? In a way, it seems like we kind of don’t. But, we’d risk oxygen and water “spoiling” the eggs. The bacteria is cooked away, unless you plan to eat them raw. And if you are Rocky, this could be the case. I am guessing however, that you are not Rocky.

image credit: pixabay

Watch Scientists Use Spinach To Build Human Heart

Spinach is one of the most well-known superfoods in the world. The leafy green vegetable is a staple of a healthy diet for many. Well now it seems, spinach is even more powerful than we thought. Scientists have now figured out a way to use spinach to build a human heart.

A study, published this month by the journal Biomaterials, shows us that spinach can be used to build a vascular system. Essentially, tissue engineering has long been the obstacle when it comes to building an organ such as a human heart. Now it seems spinach has helped to clear that obstacle. And that could be huge for medical science.

“The main limiting factor for tissue engineering … is the lack of a vascular network,” says study co-author Joshua Gershlak, a graduate student at Worcester Polytechnic Institute (WPI) in Massachusetts, in a video (below) describing the study. “Without that vascular network, you get a lot of tissue death.”

“Cellulose is biocompatible [and] has been used in a wide variety of regenerative medicine applications, such as cartilage tissue engineering, bone tissue engineering, and wound healing,” the authors write in their paper.

Eventually, people who have had heart attacks may well be able to get their tissues replaced using this science. Following heart attacks, tissues are usually damaged and this creates problems for returning the person to health.

“We have a lot more work to do, but so far this is very promising,” study co-author Glenn Gaudette, also of WPI, says in a press statement. “Adapting abundant plants that farmers have been cultivating for thousands of years for use in tissue engineering could solve a host of problems limiting the field.”

How Oil Pulling With Coconut Oil Changed My Life

When I first told my friends I had been oil pulling, they looked at me as if I were crazy. “What’s oil pulling?” they’d say. “Is this another silly alternative health quackery thing?” You sort of have to expect that when you tell people you swish coconut oil in your mouth for 20 minutes a day.

But as time has went on, some friends (mostly with desperate dental issues) have tried it and now praise it. One of my friends had a case of bad receding gums, his Dentist told him that in 6 months, he needed a follow-up and likely he’d need further processing to resolve the matter. My friend instead asked me how to oil pull. He told me he’d try it and that the truth would reside in what the Dentist, who would not be told of the pulling, would have to say. Six months later, the Dentist told him his gums were all better. And my friend has pulled ever since.

So before I get to how oil pulling helped me, some of you might be wondering what the heck oil pulling is? That’s fair enough, folks.

Oil pulling means you swish oil in your mouth for 20 minutes a day (typically first thing in the morning and typically people use cold pressed coconut oil). I put a teaspoon of coconut oil into my mouth. I swish it around the mouth and “pull” it by sucking it between teeth. I spit it out after 20 minutes (in the garbage, coconut oil can clog your drain). I then rinse my mouth with warm water. And then, well, I brush my teeth and the day begins. The purest will say it MUST be done in the morning, but I’ve never found that to be true. I do it at night sometimes as well and get wonderful results.

So what has doing this amounted to in terms of life improvements for me? Here’s a short, prioritized list.

I began to sleep better.

This was the most immediate effect. The day I started oil pulling, I noticed that I fell into a deep sleep at night. It took a week or so before I related my new found nightly deep slumbers to be related to oil pulling. I’m not here to tell you this will work for you, but I am here to say that it worked for me and it has worked this way for many others. I actually found myself having issues getting up in the morning I was sleeping so deeply, but once I was up, I was good to go: I was revived feeling. As someone commonly prone to restless nights, this unexpected benefit turned into my number one reason for oil pulling.

Plaque fell off my teeth.

I mean this in the literal sense of the description. After about 4 days, I began to notice when I’d spit the oil out that fragments were coming out as well. At first I didn’t realize what they were, but then it became clear. So I ended up getting a dental pick and prodding around, I found that plaque was falling off with relative ease. The oil pulling softens it up and it just unattached from the teeth. Having this happen caused my mouth (and piece of mind) to feel a whole lot better.

My bleeding gums stopped bleeding.

This was becoming a big issue for me. I went to the Dentist a lot over the matter. My gums hurt. Whenever I brushed my teeth, they bled (and hurt). It was tough to even floss due to the pain. I began brushing probably more than I should have. When I started oil pulling, I noticed that some parts of my mouth would bleed almost randomly, without instigation, during the middle of the day or night. At first I was concerned, but others called this a “side effect,” so I kept at it. After about two weeks, I not longer had bleeding gums or pain in my gums.

I felt more energized.

Maybe it was the better sleep, not sure, but I felt a lot more energized after oil pulling. Some say it helps balance blood sugar, which would definitely explain the effect, but I really can’t prove that as the reasoning. All I can say is that the effect was noticeable and defined.

My mouth felt way cleaner.

Brushing never caused my mouth to feel this good. Oil pulling feels like the high-powered car wash spraying every crevice while brushing feels like the bucket of soap and water with a hand-towel. Oil pulling gives your mouth this crazy ultra-clean feeling. I still brush, but I admit, if I had to choose between brushing or pulling, I’d choose pulling.

I broke out, got a flu (yeah, side effects, let’s talk about that).

The good with the bad? Yeah, things happen. I summed it up to a side effect. I got a flu about week into things and noticed acne in places I never have had acne. Could have been anything, of course, but it does seem odd that it happened right when I began oil pulling. Many claim it to be a side effect which happens in the beginning.

But side effect aside, I highly recommend everyone try oil pulling. I really consider it alternative health magic. And it doesn’t cost hardly a thing!

So which coconut oil did I use?

I use this version which is available on Amazon.

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It USED to be found at Costco, but I’m not sure why I never see it anymore. I also use Whole Foods. Here’s the tricky part, I make sure I use “Cold Pressed.” I’ve found that general grocery stores only carry expeller pressed. That means the coconut oil was exposed to heat. Whole Foods tends to have solid variety. Also, Trader Joes coconut oil is cold pressed and they only carry one brand, so you can’t go wrong. I like that one above because it’s so large. You go through it fast if you oil pull and cook with it.

Yes, you can use other oils. Traditionally, sesame oil was used. I didn’t prefer it, but I do use it in a pinch. Most of them are toasted or expeller pressed. Coconut oil seemed to have an almost magical effect.

Do you have a homeschool curriculum ready to go? Folks, the world is changing. Be ready.

Leave us a comment below if you oil pull, we’d love to have more stories so others can read them!

Harvard Study ‘Low Fat Milk Not Good For You’

Low fat milk was all the rage for years. To be honest, I never really bought into it because I never fully bought into the low fat movement, but you couldn’t argue with the popularity of low fat food and drink options. Low fat milk was a huge seller for those people thinking they were being health conscious. But now the rub, which is, they probably weren’t being health conscious: instead low fat milk may have been serving as a detriment to their health.

Low fat milk containers added sweeteners. Remember, without fat or sugar, things just aren’t palatable. In order for a food or drink to be palatable to most people, you need one or both of them. According to the Daily Mail, David Ludwig, who has often likened sugar to poison, low fat dairy solutions are bad for us.

In a paper published, Ludwig argued that dairy products with added sweeteners are a detriment to one’s health and that drinking less milk isn’t necessarily a bad idea, provided you eat certain foods.

‘Americans are consuming billions of gallons of milk a year, presumably under the assumption that their bones would crumble without them,’ Ludwig wrote in an article published in the medical journal JAMA Pediatrics.

The U.S Government recommends we drink 3 glasses of milk a day. Does anyone know anyone who actually does this anymore? I haven’t drank a glass of milk in 30 years at least. Ludwig is especially concerned with kids who are often forced by schools to meet Government food and drink recommendations. When given low fat versions of milk, they don’t typically like them, so schools replace them with sweetened versions such as chocolate milk.

But wouldn’t our bodies and our children’s bodies fall apart without milk and all that calcium? No, not at all. Spinach and Kale are both loaded with calcium. As adults, we can simply add in more kale and spinach using salads or even juicing them. With children who might be reluctant to consume these two greens, you can always sneak them into their food sources (food processors are a wonderful thing). If kids must have milk, you are best to avoid the sweetened versions, in particular chocolate and strawberry. Try to get whole fat versions of the milk. Sugar is the main problem here. With childhood obesity at an all time high, avoiding processed sugars has never been more important.

Other non-dairy calcium sources for people include: Sardines, Soybeans, Fortified cereals and orange juice.

Photo by mapper-montag

WATCH: Are Your Tomatoes Healthy?

Concerned that you can’t tell the difference between GMO tomatoes and regular healthy tomatoes? Well, you are definitely not alone. But the good news is there is an easy way to tell the difference. And in learning how to tell the difference, we are also exposed to the nasty nature of GMO foods.

Our future is one that will have us unable to depend on appropriate, honest food labeling. So it is incumbent on us to be able to decipher good from bad when it comes to good. This video is a great start to that journey.

 

Mom Says She’s Found Secret To Cutting Sugar Down In Kid’s Diets

Mom of 6 Leanne discovers the secrets to being more Sugar Smart and you won’t believe how easy it is. Watch as Leanne and her family tackle the challenges and see what changes they make with the help of Change4Life and the Sugar Smart app.

Maybe a good app to help monitor sugar in your kids during the New Year? Would you ever use an app like this?

So how much does sugar affect your children’s lives? Some experts have linked symptoms of ADHD to a high sugar diet in kids. Kids intelligence may suffer from high sugar loads as well, according to recent studies.

But in the end, the subject is polarizing amongst parents, teachers and the medical community. Some believe sugar has been unfairly demonized. In the end, it comes down to what you feel as a parent.

POLL: Do You Give Your Kids Dairy?

Well, what do you say moms and dads?


This Guy Eats Nothing But Raw Meat

So you are thinking about going on the Paleo Diet, are you? Well how much heart do you actually have, folks? And seriously, by “heart,” I mean how much of it do you plan to eat? Vice has recently re-interviewed a guy that only eats raw meat. He’s insane. I don’t mean that in a bad way, I’m not judging at all, but in terms of what our culture is used to, the images in the article are incredibly shocking to “digest.” His name is Derek Nance and he’s from Kentucky. He’s traveled the world consuming local raw meats. He began consuming raw meats due to a “mystery stomach illness” which seemed to be impossible to deal with until he turned to eating a raw meat diet. The interview discloses how Derek is doing now (hint, he has a girlfriend it seems!). We encourage you to check it out.


So wait, is eating raw meat good for us?

Well, lets make a pretty important immediate point: Cooked food, in any case, is processed food. Cooking is processing. And yes, I understand that there is a point of being granular which we don’t want to slide into (such as washing meat or vegetables), however, cooking probably isn’t “too far.” We don’t want to group “cooking meat” in with “Toll House Cookies,” of course, but we also don’t want to assume that cooking meat has no effect on the meat at all. More than making it “safe,” it destroys nutrients (same with vegetables). Minerals, such as vitamins A, D, E and K are stable under heat. But fat soluble vitamins, such as B-vitamins and C tend to break down and suffer substantial losses, at the very least. Vitamin C, of course, is something we could all use more of and often times, people rely on worthless vitamin C pills which aren’t really, vitamin C. But at least vitamin C can be supplied by certain vegetables and fruits. Vitamin B is found in spinach and other items that people tend to eat raw.  But if someone is eating a diet limited to mostly cooked meat (think hard core low carbers), you might be running into some deficiencies.

There is also what’s known as the oxidation of fat. When the fat of meat is exposed to oxygen, it oxidizes. This happens even if you don’t cook it, but, it happens at a much expedited rate when you do cook it. Some believe that oxidized fats are inflammatory and should be avoided. Remember, even if you eat lean meats, they still have fat in them.

In some circles, it is believed that charred meat is cancerous. 

When meat—be it beef, pork, fish, or poultry—is cooked at high temperatures, it forms heterocyclic amines (HCAs) and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs). According to the National Cancer Institute, HCAs and PCAs cause cancer in animal models (think: lab rats). So far it’s unclear if humans sprout cancer growths after exposure to HCAs and PHAs, but we aren’t volunteering for any trials to find out for sure.

Meat has long been associated with higher cancer risk, but many sources argue that correlation is not causation when it comes to the studies. A great many other factors, of course, exist, such as hormones / antibiotics found in the meat source and what diet the animal was subjected to while living its life.

But our common sense wisdom says that we cook meat to avoid bacteria and parasites that might do us severe harm. The CDC claims that meat is responsible for 22% of food-borne illnesses. And well, 29% of the deaths. That puts them behind leafy vegetables as the second most dangerous. But this claim, while valid, is wide ranging. It doesn’t dis-include pure, grass fed, organic meats. Any raw foodie is going to tell you that’s a huge difference maker, of course. In other words, maybe raw meat isn’t dangerous, but raw meat from poor sources is.

After this, we get into pretty much the basic premise of raw food eating in general: That’s how humans evolved. For some raw food advocates, cooking is a way of processing which relieves us of vital sources of vitamins and minerals while also putting us at risk for cancer, among other things. Raw, in their eyes, is always better, even when it comes to meat. But what if cooking HELPED humans evolve, rather than served as a detriment to their evolution. That’s exactly what one study from 2009 proposes.

This means that however sophisticated the non-thermal processing methods were, cooking would have conferred incremental energetic benefits. While much remains to be discovered, we conclude that the adoption of cooking would have led to an important rise in energy availability. For this reason, we predict that cooking had substantial evolutionary significance.

This isn’t to say that what Mr. Nance is doing isn’t helping him. He had an ailment which Doctors couldn’t resolve (we all most certainly understand that). He changed his diet and resolved it himself (boy, do we ever understand that). The key question is if it had to be raw meat, or if potentially some other variable exists. We all know that changing a diet is a complex matter. You leave out one item, you feel worse or better, you decide that item was the culprit. Then later you realize you also left out another item due to the complexity that is food and diet.

Many of us eat for various reason. Some are driven by animal ethics, while others are driven by cancer prevention. Some even eat for increased concentration or to help them have a baby. The list goes on. In the end and all things being equal, a diet, no matter how grotesque or shocking it may seem, is a pretty personal experience. This includes Mr. Nance and his vampire cocktail.