Tuesday, November 26, 2013
Protect yourself and your guests from food poisoning this holiday season. Here are some helpful hints that you'll want to follow to make sure your turkey and your leftovers don't make people sick.
When it comes to poultry, whether it's turkey during the holidays or chicken anytime during the year, we need to take extra precautions.
Poultry can be contaminated with a bacteria called salmonella, and if it is not killed, it can infect people. Salmonella poisoning makes most people very sick and can even be deadly, according to family physician Dr. I. Phillip Snider.
"People usually develop diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and they will start to feel flu-like symptoms," he said. "And most people will get through these just fine in four to seven days. But people who are very young, like infants or young children, or elderly individuals or somebody with a compromised immune system, they will have a harder time fighting the infection."
Salmonella is found in raw turkey, chicken, and duck. It is very important to thaw poultry in the refrigerator, not at room temperature. This is because if you get your bird too warm, salmonella can grow.
Chef David Miller is an instructor at the Virginia Culinary Institute. He says turkeys often require days, not hours, of thawing time in the refrigerator. Many cooks don't realize this until it is too late, and they don't have days in which to thaw their turkey before the big holiday meal. If that happens to you, fear not, there is this "plan B."
"If you have to rush it, the best way to do it is under cool, running water so the turkey is covered but the water stays running the whole time," Miller advises. "The water should be draining."
It's important to understand that raw poultry juices can be contaminated with salmonella, so always put your bird in a pan while you are thawing it in the refrigerator. Those raw juices can contaminate everything they touch, so keep them away from other foods.
"After you've been handling the raw bird, you need to make sure the surfaces are clean, the knives are clean, and you wash your hands real thoroughly before handling anything else," Miller said.
To kill bacteria, use soap or, to be most cautious, mix a tablespoon of bleach into a gallon of warm water. Use paper towels because bacteria can breed in sponges.
In order to kill salmonella during cooking, the oven temperature needs to be at least 325 degrees, no lower. Use a thermometer inserted deep inside the turkey, not touching the bone, and cook the turkey until the turkey's internal temperature reaches 165 degrees F.
So that's the low-down on salmonella. But it doesn't end there.
E-coli is another bacteria that sometimes ruins a holiday get-together.
"Any time you get a food-borne illness it will take anywhere from 12 to 72 hours to know that you're starting to get the symptoms," Dr. Snider said. "So oftentimes it's very difficult to know when it's a food-borne illness versus a viral infection that can give you intestinal symptoms."
E-coli bacteria can grow when the temperature of the food is warmer than 40 degrees, but cooler than 140 degrees. So make sure your refrigerator is cool enough, and get those leftovers in there within two hours of serving them.
In other words, don't leave them sitting on the table or on the counter for hours and hours for people to "graze" upon. Put those leftovers in small containers and try to eat them within four days for optimal protection.
Monday, October 21, 2013
Homecoming queens come and go but none can hold a candle to Molly Anne Dutton. She is telling the world about how she narrowly escaped death from abortion, and is living proof of why abortion is a horrific mistake.
Molly was crowned Auburn University's 100th Miss Homecoming. This gives her a platform to tell her story and hopefully save the lives of people who are headed toward death through abortion.
By observing her triumph, it causes us to mourn the loss of the millions precious people, whose lives were cut short in utero, and were not afforded the opportunity to live like Molly was.
By looking at Molly we can only imagine who we are missing, people to love. We can only imagine what we are missing, the contributions they would have made to society had they lived.
Molly Anne Dutton is so beautiful, smart, loving and talented...such a gift to the many people she touches.
Molly is courageous, because her story is so personal and began in such an ugly manner, but ended up beautiful.
She was conceived 22 years ago in California when her married biological mother was raped. Molly's biological mother was given an ultimatum by her husband: either abortion or divorce.
Rather than aborting, Molly's biological mother chose to give up her child for adoption. She wanted a good home for her unborn baby. She chose a Christian adoption center in Birmingham, Ala., to help her. It was called Lifeline Children's Services and is still in operation today.
A couple serving on the Lifeline board of directors chose to adopt Molly, bringing her into a large, loving Christian family. Molly has five other siblings, three of them are adopted.
Molly is not only an advocate for adoption rather than abortion. She is particularly passionate about adoption after a sexual assault. So many people who are opposed to abortion in general think it is, however, prudent in the case of rape. Molly is using her platform as Miss Homecoming to encourage even people who becoming pregnant through rape to carry their baby to term and give it up for adoption.
"If you ever find yourself in a situation or have a sister or a cousin or a best friend that is in trouble … there are resources there," she said.
The statistics are shocking. Every two minutes, someone in the United States is sexually assaulted. One out of six women is victim of an attempted or completed rape in her lifetime. There are many resources that can provide hope for women who are experiencing the darkest time of their lives. However, with the right counseling, darkness turns to light and life.
When Dutton was crowned Homecoming queen, she planned to use her platform to educate and empower the women of Auburn University who've become pregnant through sexual assault to seek adoption rather than abortion. But now her message is resonating far beyond the boundaries of Auburn. She's getting the national recognition she deserves.
Tuesday, October 01, 2013
There is an urgent, critical heath crisis taking place right under our noses and not many people seem to know about it. If they are aware, shockingly, they don't seem to care.
For the first time ever, the Centers For Disease Control issued an urgent warning about certain bacterial infections that are resistant to antibiotics. This is a nightmare scenario because it means that if you contract one of these infections, doctors might not be able to help you, and you could die.
Our most powerful antibiotics, which we hope will defeat these infections, can no longer kill these super-bugs.
How does this happen? Bacterial infections are smart. When they encounter an antibiotic that is intent on killing them, over time, the bacterial infection mutates to overcome the power of the antibiotic. This is inevitable, but it can be slowed and kept to a minimum if antibiotics were used far, far less.
In other words, only in an emergency. The way it is now, however, antibiotics are being passed out like candy at the family doctor's office and antibiotics are even being added to feed for animals used for food. Not to protect against disease, but to make them bigger, faster.
The CDC even put a number to the antibiotic resistance problem, saying every year 2 million people are made sick by antibiotic resistant bacteria. Of those, 23,000 die.
The CDC listed 18 of the most aggressive bacterial infections in their resistance to antibiotics, ranking them, the top 3 are C. Difficile, which is an intestinal bacteria, Klebsiella, a type of pnemonia, and gonorrhea, a sexually transmitted disease.
Perhaps the worst part of this horrific situation is that when we look at why this is happening, there doesn't seem to be any motivation on the part of the some of the worst culprits to change their behavior.
For example, the main reason bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics is because doctors are over prescribing them. It's estimated half of all antibiotics prescribed are unnecessary!
Doctors know this, but they are not motivated to stop doing it. In fact the opposite is true. There is every reason to believe they will continue over prescribing antibiotics.
This is because when patients go to the doctor with symptoms of an upper respiratory infection, head cold, or tummy bug, 95 percent of the time the infection is a viral infection, not a bacterial infection.
This is important because antibiotics only treat bacterial infections. They have no impact whatsoever on viral infections, except, of course they can make it worse.
When you take an antibiotic, it kills all the bacteria in your body. That's bad news because some of our naturally occuring bacteria, actually a lot of it, fights all kinds of infections, bad bacteria and viruses.
So why do doctors do this? It's because of the 5 percent of the cases that turn out to actually be bacterial infections. Doctors don't want to risk NOT prescribing an antibiotic to a patient who might actually have a bacterial infection.
Imagine how that doctor would feel sending home a person with a bacterial infection, who later gets worse, when he could have given a helpful antibiotic. They just don't want to take the chance that someone who probably has a viral infection actually has a bacterial infection.
Right now there is a way to know for sure whether an infection is bacterial or viral, but the results usually take days, and no one wants to wait that long.
So doctors are the biggest culprits in the antibiotic resistance nightmare because they over prescribe them and don't have any incentive to stop.
The other culprits are the drug companies.
Drug companies could and should invent new antibiotics to replace the old ones that aren't working any longer. But sadly, that's not likely to happen because there isn't much profit for them. Their big cash-cows are the statins and the cancer drugs. Those are the big money makers, not antibiotics.
In the last five years only two new antibiotics have been developed. Compare that to the mid-1980s, when drug companies came out with 16 new antibiotics in only four years.
But when you think about it from their perspective, why should they invent a product that's not going to make them money? These companies are most concerned about their bottom line and that's not about to change.
The only thing that would change their behavior is if they were offered economic incentives to invent new antibiotics. We can contact our legislators to push for that type of change.
What can you do slow down the antibiotic resistance scare? This might sound obvious, but it's true: Don't get sick.
If we didn't get infections, we wouldn't be offered antibiotics. The best way to prevent getting an infection is to wash your hands, get plenty of rest, take vitamins C, D, zinc, and magnesium and take a couple of tablespoons of coconut oil a day, because it is a natural antimicrobial.
Drink lots of water... and pray...which reduces stress AMONG OTHER THINGS!
If you do get sick, go ahead and see the doctor. But don't insist on an antibiotic. Lots of doctors cave to pressure from their patients who want one. Instead, suggest to leave without an antibiotic, and promise to call the doctor if you get worse, which might indicate you will need one later.
Some hospitals are doing a good job of reducing the spread of infection. You can check with your state health department to find out which hospitals are doing the best. Hospitals are required to report the number of infections in their facility.
When you see a healthcare provider, make sure you witness them sanitizing their hands when they enter the room. Don't fight it if they want to discharge you soon. The longer you are in the hospital, the more prone you are to getting an infection there. If you have a catheter, see about getting it removed as soon as possible because having one in too long is a chief cause of infection.
Tuesday, September 17, 2013
There is a debate that has been waging for some time in America: which is worse, high fructose corn syrup or sugar? The answer is not clear. Some scientists say one is no worse than the other, other researchers say their studies prove that high fructose corn syrup is worse than sugar.
But that's really not the question we should be asking. The bigger question is, how can we stop consuming EITHER of these awful foods?
While the question of which is worse, high fructose corn syrup or sugar, has yet to be answered definitively, here is one thing that is certain: both are bad for you. Is it really so important to figure out which is the lesser of the two evils?
What we need to keep in mind is that we should not be eating EITHER! It reminds me of the debate, which is worse, regular or menthol cigarettes? We should be avoiding both. Like the plague.
The truth is, comparing high fructose corn syrup and sugar is like comparing apples to oranges. They are very different. The key difference is that high fructose corn syrup is in EVERYTHING. Sugar is not.
High fructose corn syrup is a food manufacturer's dream come true. It's much, much better than sugar from their point of view because, it's very cheap, way cheaper than sugar. By adding high fructose corn syrup to their foods they can stretch the expensive part of a product. In other words, high fructose corn syrup acts as a filler.
High fructose corn syrup is also a food preservative. Sugar is not. When food processors add high fructose corn syrup to a product, it increases that product's shelf life, therefore making it much more marketable.
High fructose corn syrup improves the texture of a product. Unlike the sandy, gritty mouth-feel of granulated sugar, high fructose corn syrup is liquidy smooth. Food manufacturers are keenly aware of the importance of texture when it comes to selling a product. Consumers care just as much about the way a food feels as they're eating it, as the way it smells, looks, and tastes.
So high fructose corn syrup improves the marketability of a product in a far superior manner than sugar ever could.
Now let's look at the similarities. Both high fructose corn syrup and sugar taste great. When you add either of them, that is to say when you add the taste of sweet to a product, people like it more than its less-sweet version, and will eat more of it. Both high fructose corn syrup are addictive. The more you eat, the more you want, and the more it takes for you to feel satisfied.
In fact, many true sugar/HFCS addicts NEVER feel satisfied because of the very nature of the products. This is much like some of the hard drugs, like cocaine and prescription pain-killers....they never satisfy.
The real issue is this: high fructose may or may not be worse than sugar. But we eat so much more of it than sugar. That's the problem. The quantity of it that we eat.
Hypothetically, what if we took all the high fructose corn syrup out of everything that it's currently in...the sodas, the bread, the pasta sauce, the yogurt, the snack foods, the cereals, and so on. Then what if we replaced it with the same amount of sugar. Would we be any better off? I doubt it. We'd still be consuming astounding amounts, which is destructive to every facet of our health.
Of course we will never know the answer to that question because food manufacturers would never pump the same quantity of real sugar into their products that they do high fructose corn syrup because of the reasons I listed above. It would diminish their profits.
We demonize high fructose corn syrup, and rightly so. But not because it's worse for us than sugar, because it's in everything and we eat way, way, way to much of it.
However, let's not forget that we should demonize sugar, too. It's extrodinarily harmful to our bodies also. We just eat far less of it than HFCS because sugar is so much more expensive.
How much is the right amount of high fructose corn syrup we should consume? ZERO.
How much is the right amount of sugar we should consume? ZERO.
Thursday, September 05, 2013
Be on the alert for the word, "Molly." It's the name for a recreational drug popular in today's club scene.
It's glorified by some high-profile entertainers. Miley Cyrus references the drug in a song, "...We like to party, dancing with Molly, doing whatever we want."
The singer Madonna asked at a recent concert audience, "How many of you have seen Molly?" (Although when questioned about it she denied she was speaking about the drug and was instead referring to an actual person.)
Molly, short for "molecule," is the newest form of the recreational drug Ecstasy. It creates a feeling of euphoria and is very popular at techno clubs, raves, and other concert-type events. Most users foolishly believe it is safe, non-addictive, and without side effects.
But that is not true. It's being linked to a string of overdoses, even deaths.
Over the Labor Day weekend, a dance music festival in New York City ended early after the deaths of two young people, 23-year-old Jeffery Russ and 20-year-old Olivia Rotondo.
"I just took six hits of molly,'' Rotondo reportedly told an EMS worker before collapsing in a seizure and dying.
Molly causes the body temperature to skyrocket to 105-106 and makes individuals more prone to heat stroke.
The huge multi-day "Electric Zoo Music Festival" was shut down after concert organizers learned the victims died after taking the drug Molly.
Concert-goers were surprised to learn of the deaths. One unidentified audience member was quoted as saying," Musta got a bad batch, or something happened bad, you know, you don't usually hear stuff about people dying over that kind of stuff."
The most recent government statistics about Molly date back to 2009, and its popularity has exploded since then. But even four years ago, government data reported nearly 23,000 emergency room visits due to Molly overdoses, which was a 123 percent increase from 2005.
In addition to the two deaths at the Labor Day concert, four others were rushed to the hospital for overdosing on Molly. They are expected to survive.
A week earlier, in Boston, a 19-year-old girl died of a suspected overdose following a concert. In June, a man died and dozens more were treated for overdosing on molly at a music festival in Washington state.
According to Dr. Jayson Calton. "While the drug makes you love life, it can also make you lose life."
Friday, August 30, 2013
The leaders of a Texas megachurch did not discourage members from getting vaccinated. In a red-banner statement posted today on their website, the pastors of Eagle Mountain International Church can't make it any clearer: "We Are Not Anti-Vaccination."
Church leaders have been battling a flurry of criticism since it was reported a number of unvaccinated church members contracted the measles earlier this month. Some media reports claim the pastors discouraged members from being vaccinated.
Other reports claim the pastors initially discouraged members from being vaccinated, but reversed their position in the wake of the measles outbreak.
Neither representation is true, according to the statement, which reads:
1. Our church is not and has never been "anti-vaccination."
2. We do not have an "anti-vaccination" policy.
3. In all our years of pastoring, we have never preached against vaccinations.
4. We have never advised anyone against a vaccination.
Read the rest of the statement here.
So how did this happen? As it turns out, a non-church member contracted the measles while on a missions trip in a foreign country and subsequently visited the church and infected some members.
While it is true that the infected members were not properly vaccinated against the measles, their decision to refuse adequate vaccination was not prompted by the teachings of the church. It could have happened anywhere and is certainly not the fault of the church leadership.
It is noteworthy that a number of Americans refusing vaccinations is steadily increasing, in all segments of society, Christian and non-Christian alike. Secular television personalities and movie stars are waging anti-vaccine campaigns, not in church, but in mass media, because of their belief that vaccines can cause autism.
Even a celebrity doctor, while discussing the risks associated with vaccines, said overall, children are safer if they are vaccinated than they are if they do not get vaccinated. The doctor wouldn't admit publicly whether he has had his own children vaccinated.
Measles outbreaks, like the one in Texas, whooping cough outbreaks and meningitis outbreaks have been popping-up all over the country in recent years. These diseases all but disappeared when vaccines against them were introduced to the American public.
However, the diseases have been making a comeback lately as more and more parents refuse to allow to their children to get vaccinated because of concerns that the vaccines might cause autism or other problems. In some school districts, as many as 20 percent of parents reportedly opt-out of vaccine requirements, a decision made by Christian and non-Christian parents alike.
Although the vast majority of health professionals recommend parents get their children vaccinated, not one will guarantee something won't go wrong, just as no pilot can guarantee your plane won't crash. There are risks involved, but those risks are small.
In the past, the leadership of Eagle Mountain International Church may have articulated the risks of vaccines, just as any doctor would, but by no means did they ever discourage church members from being inoculated.
Monday, August 19, 2013
When Jessica and Raja Paulraj were first married, they found themselves working at a Christian missionary hospital in a predominantly Muslim section of India. Raja was a doctor at the hospital and Jessica was a nurse. The center of their lives, the center of their marriage is Jesus.
One day a young mother from a Muslim family gave birth to a little boy in the hospital where Jessica and Raja worked. The child had a healthy heart, healthy lungs, and a healthy brain. But he was horribly deformed. He had no nose, no eyelids (imagine that!) no hands and his legs were fused together.
His condition has a name: Bartsocas-Papas Syndrome. It's so rare there are only two dozen cases ever recorded.
This precious child, a gift from God, was utterly rejected by his entire extended family. His parents and other relatives refused to take him home from the hospital. When hospital administrators explain that this was not an option, that you couldn't just abandon your own child at the hospital where he was born, in a moment of frankness, the family explained to the hospital administrators that if they were forced to take the child back home, they would simply poison him upon his arrival.
Jessica and Raja heard got wind of this horrifying scenario, and urged by the Holy Spirit adopted the child and named him Adam.
Jessica immediately sought medical attention for their new baby from the place she knew had the best in the world: America. She sent out requests to everyone she knew, brothers and sisters in Christ.
Then she got a bite. A friend who worked at UNC Chidrens' Hospital in Raleigh, N.C., knew of an amazing servant of the Lord who also happend to be a pediatric plastic surgeon. His name is Dr. John Van Aalst. God has used this man to change so many lives, including mine.
Dr. Van Aalst assembled a team of doctors and a plan of care for Adam that was no small feat, to be sure. Jessica and Raja flew Adam to America where, led by Dr. Van Aalst, Adam underwent a series of operations to get him started in life in the best possible way. The small family then went back to India, where they've lived happily ever since, even adding to their family, Jessica gave birth to a little boy, Elliot...Adam's new brother.
Now Adam is nearly 2 years old and is doing marvelously, thanks to the unconditional love from his parents, Jessica and Raja, as well as a supportive community. Adam crawls all over the place and is very smart!
But he has one serious problem that simply must be fixed... now.
Adam was born without the roof of his mouth, his palette. So basically there is just a big space connecting his sinuses and his mouth. There's nothing separating the two spaces, like normal people enjoy. Because of this deformity, Adam can't eat normally, so he must be fed through a G.I. tube.
Also, Adam can't talk. But if you spent time with him, as I have, you'll notice his lack of speech isn't from lack of trying! He understands so much, and tries to speak, but in order to form words, he, like the rest of us, must have a palette, the roof of the mouth.
Dr. Van Aalst and his colleagues at UNC Childrens' Hospital are ready and willing to perform an operation to repair Adam's palatte. Jessica, Raja (and Elliot!) have brought Adam back to North Carolina and are waiting in the wings to move forward, but they are being held back. They don't have enough money for the surgery.
Even though Dr. Van Aalst and many others involved in Adam's care, have donated their services, there are still many costs that are simply unavoidable. Adam is a citizen of India so he does not have health insurance in America. UNC Hospitals must charge for their outlay, such as supplies, the room, etc. to children who are not citizens of North Carolina.
***So that leaves a need of $150,000. So far, the family has raised about two-thirds of that, but THE SURGERY IS SCHEDULED FOR THIS FRIDAY, AUG. 23, and they need to raise the remaining amount or the surgery will be canceled, as it was earlier this summer, due to lack of funds.
If you'd like to help, you can donate online through this website, which also has an address if you'd like to mail a check.
This is likely the last time Jessica and Raja will need help to pay for Adam's care. Adam will likely become a U.S. citizen soon, so he'll qualify for health insurance for his future procedures, which will likely include new hands so he'll be able to grip tightly, prosthetic legs so he an walk, nasal reconstruction, and the removal of his tracheostomy.
Thursday, August 08, 2013
Grocery shopping is tricky business. The sad truth is, the things we read on food packages are often misleading. The processed food companies are keenly aware of the fact that certain words or phrases appeal to consumers, and therefore boost sales.
Lately one of the most popular selling-points is, "gluten free."
Have you noticed how many food items have the words "gluten free" on the package? Gluten-free foods have become such a popular food choice lately. But what does "gluten-free" mean, exactly?
The answer was announced recently by the FDA. They recently declared that food manufacturers must meet certain criteria before slapping the phrase "gluten free" on their packages. This way, when shoppers see the "gluten free" on a label, they know what they're getting... each and every time.
The new regulation requires that, in order to use the term "gluten-free" on its label, a food must meet all of the requirements of the definition, including that the food must contain less than 20 parts per million of gluten. The rule also requires foods with the claims "no gluten," "free of gluten," and "without gluten" to meet the definition for "gluten-free."
This uniformity is intended to protect the 3 million people with Celiac Disease, but also people with gluten sensitivity, as well as those, such as myself, who simply want to avoid gluten for overall good health. We don't need it and I believe we are better off without it. Gluten comes from carbohydrates and a high carbohydrate diet is linked to cancer, heart disease, diabetes, and obesity.
Gluten is a term that describes the proteins that are in wheat, rye, and barley. People with Celiac Disease must avoid gluten because it triggers antibodies that attack the small intestine. When that happens it's very painful and can even lead to devastating consequences like intestinal cancer and infertility.
Today I spoke with Alice Bast, president of the National Foundation For Celiac Awareness. She reacted to the new regulation by stating, "we are thrilled that the FDA has come out with this ruling. This has been a long time coming. It's important that our community be kept safe."
She said her organization is satisfied with the 20 ppm standard, noting that it appears be safe level even for Celiac patients with extreme gluten sensitivity.
Bast pointed out, however, that the food manufacturers have a full year to comply. She also noted that the labeling is voluntary. Furthermore, she warned consumers to understand that if a product claims to be "wheat free," this does not mean it is "gluten free" because a "wheat free" product might still contain rye and/or barley.
Do you sometimes wonder if you have a gluten sensitivity or possibly even Celiac Disease? There are many symptoms, not every person experiences the same ones. Gastrointestinal problems like diarrhea, cramping, bloating or constipation are quite common.
But there are others, like headaches and depression. Lots of times people with these symptoms are incorrectly diagnosed with some other type of disorder and still others simply suffer needlessly with these awful symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance.
I've known people who have never been formally diagnosed, but who simply choose to remove gluten from their diet and noticed an amazing improvement in their health almost instantly, along with the added benefit of weight loss.
CeliacCentral.org is a wonderful resource if you have celiac disease or are curious about Celiac Disease or gluten insensitivity.
Here are additional links on the new labeling regulation:
Friday, July 26, 2013
When it comes to food additives, MSG is one of the worst. Sadly, it's in almost every kind of processed food, many fast foods, and restaurant foods. It makes food taste good, inhibits the feeling of being satisfied so you want more, and it's cheap.
So from a food manufacturer's standpoint, what's not to like? Never mind the fact that it's dangerous to your health. Your health is not their problem. Out-selling their competitors is their problem.
MSG stands for monosodium glutamate, but it has many other names. You know how sometimes when you look at the list of ingredients on a package of food and you can't make heads-or-tails of most of those chemical-sounding additives? You can bet one of them is code for MSG. Here are some of its aliases:
- yeast extract
- autolyzed yeast extract
- autolyzed vegetable protein
- hydrolyzed vegetable protein
- hydrolyzed yeast extract
- torula yeast
- textured whey protein
- textured soy protein
- textured vegetable protein
- plant protein extract
- calcium caseinate
- sodium caseinate
MSG is what's known as an "excitotoxin." Like the name suggests, it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees, and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer's disease, Parkinson's disease, and Lou Gehrig's disease. Excitotoxins have been found to dramatically promote cancer growth. They've also been linked to autism and depression.
MSG can cause nausea, headaches (it is a migraine trigger), seizures, and infertility and reproductive disorders. It causes weight gain and obesity by damaging the appetite regulation center in the area of the brain known as the hypothalamus, causing leptin resistence.
Here are some of the main sources of MSG, or one of it's aliases:
- canned soup and dried soup mixes
- diet soda
- salad dressing
- breakfast sausage and other meats
- chips and other junk and snack food
- frozen entrees
- restaurant food and fast food
- Chinese food
- canned beans
- seasoning blends and mixes
- bullion and broths
- microwavable cups
The best way to avoid MSG is to eat whole foods prepared at home. I know people don't like to do this because they think it's too time consuming and too costly. That's not true. In fact the opposite is true. It's actually more time consuming and costly to suffer the medical complications that arise from a lifetime of eating MSG.
Keep in mind that foods that contain MSG usually always contain other horrendous ingredients common in processed, fast and restaurant foods like trans fats, which you can recognize on the label as any oil that's been "hydrogenated," and high fructose corn syrup. GROSS!
The next best thing to eating whole foods prepared at home is to become familiar with the various aliases under which MSG travels, which are listed above. Then scan the list of ingredients in the foods you're considering putting in your body, and rejecting those that contain MSG or one of its aliases.
There are a few packaged prepared items at traditional grocery stores that do not contain MSG. At health food stores, like my favorite, Whole Foods, there are many more. In fact, Whole Foods boasts NONE of their products contain MSG or MSG-like additives, although I have not checked-out that claim for myself.
Once you know how to read labels, you can find better alternatives. If you love an occasional snack of flavored chips (barbecue flavor, nacho cheese flavor, etc.) you now can see how MSG is an ingredient. Instead, try plain potato chips where the ingredients are potatoes, oil, and salt.
Beware of MSG in the seasoning aisle and in recipes. Some of those manufactured seasonings like "accent" and marinades and rubs, blended seasonings in a jar like Cajun or Greek, contain some, or a lot of MSG.
Friday, July 19, 2013
This time of year we must all be aware of the fact that these high temperatures can be deadly.
First and foremost, be extra cautious about leaving children or pets in the car. Sometimes people forget, especially when they can't see or hear the baby in the back seat. This happens when an infant is asleep in a rear-facing car seat in the back seat.
Also, sometimes parents knowingly leave a child in a hot car, thinking the child will be fine because the child will "only be in there a minute." But of course, that's too long. Even when you're driving, be mindful of the fact that it's hotter in the back seat and make whatever adjustments to the windows or air conditioning to prevent passengers in the back seat from overheating.
Also this time of year, don't leave a pet in the car, not even if the windows are cracked.
People die from the heat every summer. Usually they are people who are already weak: the elderly, the very young, or people whose health is compromised in some other way. Heat deaths also occur when healthy people, such as athletes, are pushed beyond their limit in the searing temperatures.
The best way to protect yourself from the heat is to stay inside, in an air conditioned building as much as possible. Movies, malls, roller skating or even ice skating are a few ideas.
The real trouble comes when a person doesn't have air conditioning. Oftentimes elderly folks either don't have it or don't turn it on because they don't want to spend the extra money for electricity. To make matters worse, sometimes these same people are also afraid of being a crime victim, so they won't even open the windows! If you don't believe me, just watch the news. It happens a lot.
So please, if you know of an elderly person or couple, a neighbor, church members, certainly a relative, CHECK ON THEM!
At the very least, make sure they have a fan. Sometimes municipalities give away box fans for free to the needy, so check with your local government if money is the problem. You can intensify the effects of the fan by putting a pan of ice water in front of it, or putting ice in towel suspended between two chairs in front of the fan.
So often the best thing for the elderly or sick without air conditioning is to take them to a local cooling station. Most cities have air-conditioned places, often senior centers that are free and open to the public to stay for the day. There are televisions and cots and games, etc. Call your local city hall to find out where yours is located. Sometimes they will even provide transportation
There are many ways to cool off at night if you don't have air conditioning. If it's safe, open the windows and try to get a cross-breeze going. Also sleep downstairs, because heat rises.
Sleep nude! Hey, it's cooler that way.
Take a cool bath or shower before bed and don't dry off completely. Put several wet cloths in the refrigerator, and when you wake up, wipe it over your body, paying particular attention to your writs and armpits. If you wear pajamas, go as light as you can and get them damp before you go to bed. Sleep "spread eagle" style so your limbs don't get too hot.
During the day, if you have to be outside in the heat, the top three things to remember are: frequent breaks, shade and water. Hopefully you can do all three together...take frequent breaks in the shade with water.
Make sure to drink water all day and night when it's hot. You want to remain hydrated all the time. In fact, if you are thirsty, that means you are aready dehydrated. So drink water even when you are not thirsty to stay a step ahead of the heat.
Stay away from caffeine, which dehydrates, and sugar, which impedes the cooling process.
Wear loose, light-colored, 100-percent cotton clothing.
Exercise outside in the early morning or evening, avoiding the heat of the day.
Go to the beach or the pool and get in the water! Just make sure to reapply that sunscreen....we don't want to get skin cancer. But that's a blog for another day.