Expressions of Health Blog
"Videos, Motivations, and Other Positive Stuff"
  1. Processed Meats Declared Too Dangerous for Human Consumption

     

    The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) has just completed a detailed review of more than 7,000 clinical studies covering links between diet and cancer. Its conclusion is rocking the health world with startling bluntness: Processed meats are too dangerous for human consumption. Consumers should stop buying and eating all processed meat products for the rest of their lives.

    Processed meats include bacon, sausage, hot dogs, sandwich meat, packaged ham, pepperoni, salami and virtually all red meat used in frozen prepared meals. They are usually manufactured with a carcinogenic ingredient known as sodium nitrite. This is used as a color fixer by meat companies to turn packaged meats a bright red color so they look fresh. Unfortunately, sodium nitrite also results in the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines in the human body. And this leads to a sharp increase in cancer risk for those who eat them.

    A 2005 University of Hawaii study found that processed meats increase the risk of pancreatic cancer by 67 percent. Another study revealed that every 50 grams of processed meat consumed daily increases the risk of colorectal cancer by 21 percent. These are alarming numbers. Note that these cancer risks do not come from eating fresh, non-processed meats. They only appear in people who regularly consume processed meat products containing sodium nitrite.

    Sodium nitrite appears predominantly in red meat products (you won’t find it in chicken or fish products). Here’s a short list of food items to check carefully for sodium nitrite and monosodium glutamate (MSG), another dangerous additive:

    • Beef jerky
    • Bacon
    • Sausage
    • Hot dogs
    • Sandwich meat
    • Frozen pizza with meat
    • Canned soups with meat
    • Frozen meals with meat
    • Ravioli and meat pasta foods
    • Kid’s meals containing red meat
    • Sandwich meat used at popular restaurants
    • Nearly all red meats sold at public schools, restaurants, hospitals, hotels and theme parks

    If sodium nitrite is so dangerous to humans, why do the FDA and USDA continue to allow this cancer-causing chemical to be used? The answer, of course, is that food industry interests now dominate the actions by U.S. government regulators. The USDA, for example, tried to ban sodium nitrite in the late 1970′s but was overridden by the meat industry.5 It insisted the chemical was safe and accused the USDA of trying to “ban bacon.”

    Today, the corporations that dominate American food and agricultural interests hold tremendous influence over the FDA and USDA. Consumers are offered no real protection from dangerous chemicals intentionally added to foods, medicines and personal care products.

    You can protect yourself and your family from the dangers of processed meats by following a few simple rules:

    1. Always read ingredient labels.
    2. Don’t buy anything made with sodium nitrite or monosodium glutamate.
    3. Don’t eat red meats served by restaurants, schools, hospitals, hotels or other institutions.

    And finally, eat more fresh produce with every meal. There is evidence that natural vitamin C found in citrus fruits and exotic berries (like camu camu) helps prevent the formation of cancer-causing nitrosamines, protecting you from the devastating health effects of sodium nitrite in processed meats. The best defense, of course, is to avoid eating processed meats altogether.

    —–Reprinted from “Dreamhealer Alternative Medicine”

  2. “Get a Good Night’s Sleep, Sheep”

     

    The Better Sleep Council recognizes the month of May as Better Sleep Month, so that makes this a great month to practice better sleep habits and enjoy the benefits of quality sleep. We talk a lot about nutrition and regular physical activity as a part of our wellness journey, and the importance of sleep may slip out of focus. The Better Sleep Council has information that supports many families are falling short of a restful night’s sleep at least one day per week. Review your practices around sleep, your routines that lead up to periods of restful sleep, and assess how the family functions when sleeping well. Keep a sleep log this month and look for connections to how the family responds to physical activity, stress, meal planning, homework, or family dynamics. Some questions you may answer in the log include: what was the routine that lead up to bed time, was the night restful, how long was the period of sleep, what was the mood at wake time, and what was the mood at sleep time. Have fun looking for connections and enjoy a better night’s sleep for the entire home.

    ———re-posted from YMCA of America