Organic Milk and Beef Have More Good Fats, But Not Enough to Impact Your Diet

Good news for people who buy organic milk and beef: there may really be more good omega-3 fatty acids in those products than their non-organic counterparts. The not-so-good news: they’re still expensive, and the nutritional difference won’t make much of a dietary impact.

Source: Organic Milk and Beef Have More Good Fats, But Not Enough to Impact Your Diet

What about grass fed, you ask?

About the same amount of omega-3s as organic beef. In terms of the fat content, ratio of good to bad fats might be better due to choice of feed. Overall, could be better for you but only slightly and it’s still expensive!

Stop Taking Fish Oil Pills

The market for fish oil supplements is worth $1.2 billion annually, and you know what? It’s full of shit.

I mean that literally and figuratively. The side effects of taking dietary fish oil include anything from nosebleeds to diarrhea. But you’ve been told for years that the precious omega-3 fatty acids in these supplements can reduce the risk of heart disease and stroke. Many labels will also tell you that taking fish pills boost your brain function and prevent cognitive decline. The only problem is that an increasing number of clinical studies say that these claims just aren’t true.

Source: Stop Taking Fish Oil Pills

I’d originally preferred natural sources to supplements.  In the last year, research have reinforced this is a wise idea.  Some supplements are known to cause [prostate] cancer, but muscle building supplements have not been linked conclusively to cancer.  Some supplements contain an amphetamine-like substance, while others have asparagus and lies.  Business – the reality of making a profit – is largely to blame.  It’s not like natural sources aren’t at risk either – farmed salmon are dyed pink.

Inadequate Vitamin E Can Cause Brain Damage

Researchers at Oregon State University have discovered how vitamin E deficiency may cause neurological damage by interrupting a supply line of specific nutrients and robbing the brain of the “building blocks” it needs to maintain neuronal health.

The findings — in work done with zebrafish — were just published in the Journal of Lipid Research. The work was supported by the National Institutes of Health.

The research showed that zebrafish fed a diet deficient in vitamin E throughout their life had about 30 percent lower levels of DHA-PC, which is a part of the cellular membrane in every brain cell, or neuron. Other recent studies have also concluded that low levels of DHA-PC in the blood plasma of humans is a biomarker than can predict a higher risk of Alzheimer’s disease.

Source: Inadequate vitamin E can cause brain damage

Curious about good sources for vitamin E?

  • Sunflower seeds
  • Almonds
  • Spinach (not good for blood thinner)
  • Swiss Chard (also not good for blood thinner)
  • Bell peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Avocado
  • Peanuts

Vitamin E is fat soluble – consuming fat soluble vitamins with fat increases their uptake.

Fish Oil Not So Perfect After All

Fish oil is now the third most widely used dietary supplement in the United States, after vitamins and minerals, according to a recent report from the National Institutes of Health. At least 10 percent of Americans take fish oil regularly, most believing that the omega-3 fatty acids in the supplements will protect their cardiovascular health.

But there is one big problem: The vast majority of clinical trials involving fish oil have found no evidence that it lowers the risk of heart attack and stroke.

…Dr. Stein also cautions that fish oil can be hazardous when combined with aspirin or other blood thinners. “Very frequently we find people taking aspirin or a ‘super aspirin’ and they’re taking fish oil, too, and they’re bruising very easily and having nosebleeds,” he said. “And then when we stop the fish oil, it gets better.”

Source: Fish Oil Claims Not Supported by Research

While it’s interesting that so many studies support that there’s no link between the health claims and fish oil extract, there’s only a passing mention of FDA review and support.  Nothing about if the supplement actually contains fish oil.  If other supplements are full of asparagus and lies

My stance remains firmly no-supplement.  Nothing is 100% safe, with farmed salmon getting dyed to resemble wild, or the known fraud in olive oil…  Doing the best you can is all you can hope for, and the field changes without your knowledge.

Farm Fresh? Natural? Eggs Not Always What They’re Cracked Up To Be

You’re in the supermarket gathering ingredients for eggnog and a Christmas Bundt cake, and you’re staring at a wall of egg cartons. They’re plastered with terms that all sound pretty wonderful: All-Natural, Cage-Free, Free-Range, Farm Fresh, Organic, No Hormones, Omega-3. And so on.

…Here is the result. Consider it a glossary for the wannabe informed egg buyer.

Source: Farm Fresh? Natural? Eggs Not Always What They’re Cracked Up To Be

There’s always various egg substitutes (most are vegan).  Eggs do not have vitamin K, but there might be in some of the substitutes.

The highest form of advertising is in the phrase “Farm Fresh Eggs” 🙂

Hop On the Kangaroo Meat Bandwagon

Tie me kangaroo down, sport…

China is eating more red meat these days. By one count, their appetite for flesh will grow by 17 percent over the next seven years. That may not seem like much, but considering the Chinese already eat twice as much beef as steak-addled Americans, you can see how quickly and steeply this new craving could drive up demand at cattle auctions. And we’re seeing similar spikes in Brazil, Indonesia, the United Arab Emirates, and almost every other nation with a growing, aspirational middle class. As global consumption of conventional meats skyrockets, the world will face new environmental pressures from methane-producing livestock and sloppy ranches. Which is exactly why we should be thanking our lucky stars for the increasing availability and global popularity of kangaroo meat, one of many largely untapped, more sustainable, and still delicious alternative red meats available to up-and-coming carnivores.

For those who only know kangaroos from National Geographic specials, it’s easy to think of them as some rare, exotic, and probably protected creature. But in Australia, the 58.6 million strong herds of these hopping menaces are borderline pests, mowed down by hunters in annual culls of 5 to 7 million animals.

Source: Hop On the Kangaroo Meat Bandwagon

I was really glad to see the second paragraph demonstrate why this would be very beneficial.  I’ve traveled the East coast of Australia – kangaroos are vermin.  Like how some areas organize feral pig hunts, Australian farmers do it for ‘roos.  The highways are 100 KM/hr minimum last time I was there, and most trucks got equipped with “roo bars” – these sometimes encircled the entire vehicle.  The purpose was to protect against body/etc damage when striking a roo at speed on the highway.  Being able to reign in a vermin population… …and make a profit on it?  While it’s understandable that farming has a history of cruel treatment of animals – roos currently are currently dying as roadkill.  It’s not always instantaneous – some bleed out, some waste away because of an compound fracture.

That said, while the meat might meet (heh) the demand from a business perspective – there’s the opportunity for higher prices for beef.  Desirability and competition for resources…  The article mentions that kangaroo is considered low class meat, and given the established culture around beef – I don’t see that ever changing.  It’s also unrealistic to believe that everyone will eat kangaroo when there’s already the choice of beef and pork (diet permitting).

Ode to the Avocado

You can search and find numerous articles that extol the virtues of the avocado. This is my favourite article.  Lifting from the best:

With lots of calories and being high in fat (85% of its calories come from fat) – it’s good fat. Avocado’s support for heart and blood vessels might be surprising to some people who think about avocado as too high in fat for heart health.  Heart health is improved by intake of oleic acid (the primary fatty acid in avocado) and by intake of omega-3 fatty acids (provided by avocado in the form of alpha-linolenic acid and in the amount of 160 milligrams per cup). Since elevated levels of homocysteine form a key risk factor for heart disease, and since B vitamins are very important for healthy regulation of homocysteine levels, avocado’s significant amounts of vitamin B-6 and folic acid provide another channel of heart support.

There’s avocado’s ability to help prevent osteoarthritis and rheumatoid arthritis…  And that avocado helps prevent the occurrence of cancers in the mouth, skin, and prostate gland…

Starting to see why it’s recommended that you consume at least half an avocado a day?  Avocado’s are also low in Vitamin K, but 1 cup/150 grams of avocado does provide ~35% of the Daily Value (DV).  All things in moderation…

Lots serve avocado by the slice or cube in recipes.  I currently find guacamole (recipe) works for me – I can use it as a mayonnaise substitute with tuna, a topping on pasta (recipe) or pizza, garnish in a pita pocket or English muffin.  You can read here about how to minimize the browning.

Fall Foods that Benefit Your Skin and Hair

You may want to pause before gulping down that pumpkin spice latte. While everyone from Starbucks to Oreo wants you craving all pumpkin everything, there’s actually a healthy way to utilize the seasonal orange squash—the real stuff, not the sugar-high inducing, cinnamon spiked puree in a can.

You may have noticed pumpkin face masks and cranberry hair treatments flooding the beauty aisles, and while some are gimmicks capitalizing on your fall nostalgia, dermatologist Marnie Nussbaum says there are a few fall foods that can truly help your hair and skin when applied topically.

Source: Fall Foods that Benefit Your Skin and Hair