Reuters posted an article this morning saying that Prolonged aspirin use tied to reduced colon cancer risk. While that is true, after all it is a very powerful anti-inflammatory as well as great analgesic. BUT, this problem with daily usage is that it is hard on the stomach, especially considered that most Americans suffer from Leaky Gut and do not have great gut health.
So, is there a better answer. Of course! We can eat an anti-inflammatory diet; no gluten, drastically lowering or eliminating grains, avoiding all soy (except edamame), limiting red meat, ALWAYS eating organic, only eating organic or grass fed meats and keeping the body in a healing, alkaline state buy eating lots of fruit and veggies (2/3 of your days food intake).
THAT is the way to stay healthy and meet our nutrient needs. But, what about when we don’t or our risk factors are high, we are stressed, we need to heal? Use quercetin instead of aspirin. It is a very powerful anti-inflammatory and great analgesic. For me it works better than Tylenol. It is inexpensive and easy to come by.
Back in 1982, Durk Pearson and Sandy Shaw wrote about the benefits of a plant enzyme called bromelain in their best-seller book Life Extension. Derived from pineapple stems, bromelain is finally gaining recognition for its natural pain-relieving effects. Scientists have recently shown that bromelain provides powerful anti-inflammatory properties without the problems associated with drug therapy.
Quercetin also has the ability to help prevent cancer and other inflammatory diseases.
Pain reliever drugs can be prescribed or bought over-the-counter, but chronic use can lead to side effects such as gastric ulcers and liver-kidney damage. Bromelain has long been known to contain powerful proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes, which are beneficial in digestive enhancement. New studies reveal that enteric-coated bromelain provides potent systemic anti-inflammatory effects.
Athletes are increasingly turning to bromelain to help manage sports injuries, and those undergoing surgery are using it to speed their recovery time.4,5 Bromelain also holds further promise in managing varied conditions such as sinusitis and inflammatory bowel disease.6,7
In addition to its potent anti-inflammatory effects, scientists have recently discovered that bromelain exhibits tumor-fighting properties which are now being explored in the hope of finding a new anti-cancer drug.
Numerous studies have shown that bromelain can be as effective as anti-inflammatory drugs for dealing with the pain of osteoarthritis.1 Direct head-to-head trials have demonstrated greater levels of improvement and decreased dependency on pharmaceuticals with bromelain.
The following info is from Life Extention;
In a recent blinded study from Germany, researchers divided 90 patients with painful osteoarthritis of the hip into two groups: one half receiving an oral enzyme preparation containing bromelain for six weeks, while the other half received the anti-inflammatory drug diclofenac (sold under the brand name Voltaren® and generic names). They found that the bromelain preparation was as effective as diclofenac in standard scales of pain, stiffness and physical function, and better tolerated than the drug comparator. The researchers concluded, “[the bromelain preparation] may well be recommended for the treatment of patients with osteoarthritis of the hip with signs of inflammation as indicated by a high pain level.”2
Growing evidence of the cardiovascular and gastrointestinal risks associated with non-steroidal anti-inflammatory (NSAID) drugs has left many people seeking safe, effective strategies for relieving pain and inflammation.
Derived from the pineapple plant, the protein-digesting enzyme bromelain demonstrates powerful effects in alleviating pain, swelling, and inflammation.
In clinical trials, bromelain-based formulations were more effective than an NSAID drug in relieving arthritis pain. Supplementing with bromelain-based formulations after injury or surgery also speeds healing and reduces pain.
Bromelain hastens the resolution of sinusitis, and shows promise in fighting inflammatory bowel disorders. Preliminary studies suggest that bromelain may even help fight cancer.
Experts suggest consuming bromelain between meals to capture its anti-inflammatory benefits. To promote healthy digestive function, take bromelain with meals.
Bromelain’s anti-inflammatory properties have led to its main recognized medicinal use – as an effective pain reliever and healing aid in the treatment of minor injuries, such as sprains, strains, and other trauma.
Bromelain’s efficacy was studied in an open-case observation study of patients who had suffered blunt trauma to the musculoskeletal system. An orthopedist treated 59 subjects with conventional therapeutics plus bromelain for one to three weeks. Bromelain significantly reduced the patients’ swelling, pain at rest and in motion, and tenderness at the site of injury. Not only was bromelain effective, it was also well tolerated.11
Speeding Post-Surgical Healing
In addition, bromelain may offer important support for healing and pain relief after surgery. Investigators administered a combination of bromelain, trypsin, and rutoside (rutin) to patients for two weeks following surgery to fix fractured long bones. Compared with surgical patients who did not receive the supplement, the bromelain-treated group showed a remarkable reduction in postoperative swelling. Additionally, the supplemented individuals required less pain medication during their recovery period, indicating a significant analgesic effect and more rapid and comfortable recovery.5
Scientists have also investigated the efficacy of bromelain in offering welcome relief from sinusitis, the painful inflammation of the sinus cavities typically caused by bacterial, fungal, or viral infection. Sinusitis often follows an upper respiratory infection and can manifest with symptoms such as nasal congestion and discharge, postnasal drip, headache, cough, and sore throat.
Researchers compared bromelain with standard therapies, both alone and in combination, in 116 children under the age of 11 suffering from acute sinusitis. Remarkably, patients treated with bromelain alone experienced a recovery that was significantly faster than patients in any of the other groups.6
These findings confirmed those from an earlier study showing that bromelain resolved inflammation of the nasal mucosa in 85% of adults receiving bromelain, while only 40% of adults receiving placebo showed a similar improvement.12
A recent research review noted that bromelain may offer benefits for sinus health by thinning nasal secretions and inhibiting the production of inflammatory prostaglandins.13 In fact, the German Commission E has approved bromelain for the treatment of sinus and nasal swelling following ear, nose, and throat surgery or trauma.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
Preliminary findings suggest that bromelain may also have applications in the management of the inflammatory bowel disease ulcerative colitis, which is characterized by abdominal cramping and pain, diarrhea, and weight loss.
In 2000, the Annals of Internal Medicine published an anecdotal report of two patients suffering from ulcerative colitis who had not achieved significant improvement with conventional therapy, but benefitted from bromelain supplementation. Bromelain supplementation helped relieve symptoms such as frequent diarrhea; and follow-up endoscopy studies revealed healing of the gastrointestinal mucosa.7
This encouraging report prompted researchers at North Carolina’s Duke University to explore bromelain’s effects on an experimental mouse model of inflammatory bowel disease. Animals treated with orally administered bromelain beginning at five weeks of age displayed decreased incidence and severity of spontaneous colitis. Bromelain supplementation also decreased the clinical and histological manifestations of inflammatory bowel disease in animals with existing colitis. The investigators concluded that their findings justified further studies of bromelain in the management of inflammatory bowel disease.14
Bromelain is also effective in treating a skin disorder called pityriasis lichenoides chronica, which is characterized by the appearance of long-lasting, asymptomatic skin lesions. The disease has no known cause and treatment outcomes have proved unpredictable and non-optimal.15 In a recent study, investigators treated eight patients who had this disorder with
bromelain for three months. At the end of the treatment period, all patients showed complete clinical recovery with no adverse effects. And although two patients relapsed five to six months after stopping therapy, they responded again to another brief cycle of therapy. The investigators concluded that the efficacy of bromelain “could be related to its anti-inflammatory, immuno-modulatory, and/or antiviral properties.”15
Perhaps the most exciting news about bromelain comes from the front lines of cancer research. Several studies suggest that bromelain may hold an important role as a novel anticancer therapy.
Scientists employed an animal model system to look at bromelain’s ability to fight several different types of cancer. First, laboratory animals were inoculated with cancer cells derived from bone, breast, blood (leukemia), lung, or skin (melanoma). Next, the scientists administered bromelain to the animals. The animals were compared with similar animals that were also inoculated with tumor cells, but did not receive bromelain. Bromelain significantly increased the animals’ survival rates from all the cancers except melanoma. Furthermore, bromelain significantly reduced the number of lung metastases in the animals inoculated with lung cancer cells, suggesting that it might play an important role in fighting cancer growth.8
A recent study conducted in mice further points to bromelain’s anticancer effects. Scientists utilized a mouse model of cancer, in which skin tumors were induced by the application of two toxic chemicals. Treating the animals with bromelain prior to the two cancer-inducing chemicals delayed the onset of tumor development, reduced the cumulative number of tumors, tumor volume, and the average number of tumors per mouse. The scientists believe that bromelain protected against cancer by inducing proteins related to apoptosis (programmed cell death) and by inhibiting nuclear factor-kappab (NF-kb), a proinflammatory protein involved in cancer and many other disease processes.16
While much remains to be learned about bromelain’s applications in augmenting anticancer therapy, scientists have proposed that bromelain may work through several mechanisms; including boosting the immune system’s anticancer activity, inhibiting tumor metastasis (spread to other locations), and decreasing tumor growth and invasive potential.17
Supplementing with Bromelain
The evidence of bromelain’s efficacy is based on studies of its use as nutritional supplement, extracted from the stems of the pineapple plant. Although pineapple is a healthful food, it is not practical to acquire therapeutic amounts of bromelain merely by consuming pineapple fruit.
A wide range of dosing recommendations exists for bromelain. For adults, the German Commission E recommends 80-320 mg of bromelain, two to three times per day.18 Other scientists have noted that the typical oral bromelain dosage is within the range of 500-1,000 mg per day, with up to 2,000 mg/day commonly used.13For delayed-onset muscle soreness following an intense exercise regime, 300 mg of bromelain three times daily has been used.19 Scientists have noted that 200-400 mg of bromelain daily for 30 days is effective for mild acute knee pain.10 The protein-digesting potency of bromelain products is often measured in gelatin-digesting units (GDU) or in milk-clotting units (MCU).
Experts generally advise consuming enteric-coated bromelain supplements to benefit from its anti-inflammatory effects. To enhance food digestion, non-coated bromelain tablets, powder, or capsules can be consumed along with other digestive enzymes, such as lipase and amylase, at meal time.
The pineapple plant has been used for centuries by many cultures for its medicinal qualities. In 1891, a Venezuelan chemist named Vicente Marcano isolated the enzyme bromelain from the pineapple fruit. It was not until 1957, when high amounts of the compound were found to be concentrated in the stem of the pineapple, that bromelain became commercially available as an herbal therapeutic.9
Bromelain is a general name for a family of sulfur-containing, proteolytic (protein-digesting) enzymes obtained from the pineapple plant. While bromelain is present in both the fruit and the stem of the pineapple, most commercially available bromelain today is extracted from the stem of the pineapple.
People with known allergies to pineapples or pineapple juice should not take bromelain. According to the National Library of Medicine, bromelain could theoretically increase the risk of bleeding when combined with drugs or natural agents that increase the risk of bleeding; such as aspirin, warfarin (Coumadin®), clopidogrel (Plavix®), ibuprofen (Advil®), ginkgo, or garlic. In theory, bromelain could increase the anti-inflammatory effects of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and could cause a larger than expected fall in blood pressure from angiotensin-converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitors such as captopril (Capoten®).18
Human studies suggest that bromelain may increase the absorption of some antibiotics, such as amoxicillin and tetracycline, increasing their levels in the body. Individuals with existing medical conditions and those who use medications should consult a physician before beginning bromelain supplementation.18
Bromelain’s potent anti-inflammatory actions hold a broad spectrum of applications in human health. Not only can bromelain help relieve the pain and inflammation of sprains, injuries, arthritis, and surgery, but intriguing evidence points to its value in alleviating sinusitis and inflammatory bowel disease and even complementing anticancer therapies. This versatile, effective supplement promises to be a useful addition to every family’s medicine cupboard.
A few years, ago I noticed I was constantly tired. As you know, each day I am either in the operating room or my practice at a very early hour. But I noticed that no matter what I did, eating right or exercising often, nothing improved the tired feeling I had. Finally I checked my Vitamin D level and it turned out it was low. It was about 25; the normal value should be over 30. Ideal levels for men and women should be in the 40-50 range.
I began taking 2000 IU of Vitamin D3 per day – which is the most active form. D3 is the best form of Vitamin D to take in terms of supplements. Obviously, we’d all love to get our Vitamin D through sun exposure but as winter approached, we know that’s not always possible.
Vitamin D is arguably the most important vitamin you could take. Vitamin D is actually a hormone; it’s not even a vitamin and it affects our entire body. Whenever, you feel fatigued or have low energy – it’s quite possible your Vitamin D levels are low. A vitamin D deficiency occurs when the level of vitamin D in your body is too low. Vitamin D helps the body use calcium from our diet which is essential for us as humans to maintain bone strength. If you feel you might be experiencing symptoms of a vitamin D deficiency, it is important to get tested and treated because it can eventually cause your bones to become thin, brittle or mis-shapen.
Over the years many studies have shown low Vitamin D may lead to heart disease, diabetes, dementia, aggressive prostate cancer and Alzheimers. A new study published in The Journal of Clinical Endocrinology Metabolism explored the importance of vitamin D related to heart health. A connection was made between children having low vitamin D levels and experiencing heart disease later in life. Learn more on this connection between heart disease and low vitamin D.
- Vitamin D helps build up calcium in your body which strengthens bone and teethhealth
- Decreased risk of osteoporosis, diabetes, dementia and some cancers including breast, colon, prostate, ovarian, esophageal and lymphatic
- Helps lower blood pressure levels and hypertension
- Regulates your immune system for optimal efficiency and fighting disease
- Studies have shown that it can decrease multiple sclerosis in women
Do you have a vitamin D deficiency?
The only way to confirm that you are suffering from a vitamin D deficiency is to get a blood test to test your vitamin D levels. In the meantime, if you are experiencing any of the following signs or symptoms, you should get tested sooner rather than later.
- You are aged 50 or older. As we age, our skin does not make as much vitamin D as a result of sun exposure. The kidneys are also less capable of converting vitamin D into the form that is used by our bodies. When we get older, we tend to spend more time inside due to certain health conditions or the inability to be as physically active and therefore, we get even less sun exposure and less vitamin D.
- You have dark skin. African Americans are at higher risk of being vitamin D deficient because they have more melanin in their skin. Having more melanin decreases the skin’s ability to make vitamin D from sun exposure. If you have dark skin, you may need as much as ten times more sun exposure to produce the same amount of vitamin D, compared to a person with light or fare skin.
- You have gastrointestinal issues. As mentioned before, vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, which means if you have a gastrointestinal condition that affects your ability to absorb fat, you may have lower absorption of fat-soluble vitamins like vitamin D as well. Having gastrointestinal conditions that occur in the gut like Crohn’s disease, celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and inflammatory bowel disease may be sign you are not getting enough vitamin D.
- You have bone pain. Many people who see a doctor complaining of aches and pains in their bones are often misdiagnosed as having chronic fatigue syndrome or fibromyalgia. This is especially true if the person is also complaining of fatigue. However, these are also signs of vitamin D deficiency osteomalacia. This is different than the type of vitamin D deficiency that causes osteoporosis in adults in that the vitamin D deficiency is limiting the ability to put calcium into the collagen matrix in the bones, which can result in aches and pain in the bones.
- Your mood is down. The amount of serotonin your body produces is linked to the amount of sun exposure you get. Serotonin is the brain’s natural feel good hormone which makes us feel happy and in a good mood. Our body produces more serotonin when we are more sun exposure, and produces less serotonin when we get less sun exposure.
- You are overweight or obese, or have more muscle mass. Vitamin D is a fat-soluble vitamin, meaning the amount of body fat we have is related to the amount of vitamin D our bodies need and can absorb. So if you are overweight or obese, your body requires more vitamin D compared to a thin person with less body fat. This is also true for people who weigh more as a result of having a higher amount of muscle mass.
Head perspiration. One of the initial signs of vitamin D deficiency is a sweaty head.
Foods with A lot of Vitamin D
1. Salmon: Fatty fish like salmon, herring and sardines is the best place to get vitamin D and the omega-3 fatty acids won’t hurt you either.
2. More mushrooms: Whether you love Chanterelle, morel, shiitake, or portobello, mushrooms are a low-cal way to increase your vitamin D.
4. Make an omelet: Two large eggs provide about 1/10 of your daily need of vitamin D. Eat the whole egg!
From- Dr. David Samadi , Chairman of Urology, Chief of Robotic Surgery at Lenox Hill Hospital, Professor of Urology at Hofstra School of Medicine
Often, the success of a great dish comes down to heat. Gorgeously seared steak, perfect stir-fry, or properly al dente pasta all rely on a big flame and high heat. But here’s a secret: Sometimes, your cooking secret weapon is a cold pot or pan.
While you’d never lay an expensive porterhouse in a chilly pan and then turn on the flame (the steak would eventually cook through, but it’d turn out gray and pallid, not golden-brown and caramelized), there are a few times when starting the cooking process with a cold pan is a must. Beginning with a cold pan allows you to better control the temperature, and lets you slowly build layers of flavor, rather than shocking your ingredients. These are the cooking techniques that call for cold pans.
Perfect BLTs start with crispy bacon. Crispy bacon starts with a cold pan. Photo: Dawn Perry
Rendering Bacon Fat
Add a raw piece of bacon to a hot pan, and it’ll cook up in no time flat—without rendering any of the fat, unfortunately. That’s fine if you’re the type who likes gumming on bacon fat, but, ’round here, we like our cured pork belly crispy. The way to shatteringly crisp bacon is fat in the pan, not on the strip. Plus, if you take things low and slow when cooking bacon, you’ll be rewarded with a panful of rendered bacon fat for later use—not a bad flavor tool to have in your arsenal.
Making Garlic Confit
Garlic confit is made by slowly heating oil with whole cloves of garlic, then letting the mixture cool down together. The result is two-fold: a garlicky flavored oil and tender cloves of garlic perfect for spreading on toast or adding to stir-fries and sauces. The key to developing this flavor is to let the garlic heat up with the oil—so start cold and let it all come together at once. You also don’t want to get the oil to its smoking point; a cold pan is extra insurance against that.
Seared Duck Breast with Mustard Greens, Turnips, and Radishes. Photo: Christopher Testani.
Cooking Skin-On Duck or Chicken
If you add a skin-on duck breast or chicken thigh to a screaming hot pan, the skin will contract quickly, tightening up and shrinking. This is not good. “You don’t want the skin to seize up before the fat has rendered,” explains Claire Saffitz, BA‘s associate food editor. Seized-up skin means chewy, not crispy—and you know we’re all about the crispy skin. This is especially important for duck breast, which has a very thick layer of fat. Start cold, and take it easy: This is no place to crank the heat.
Toasting Seeds and Spices
Tiny toppers like sesame seeds and spices like cumin or fennel taste better toasted—this recipe for Chile-Cumin Lamb Meatballs is proof. Unfortunately, they also cook quickly. If you add them to a pan that’s already hot, they’ll burn and blacken before toasting from the inside out. Another tip: Remove the seeds or spices from the pan as soon as they’re done; if you leave them in the now-hot pan, they will overcook.
The BA test kitchen staff suggests starting boiled eggs in cold water. If you drop a cold, straight-from-the-fridge egg into a pot of boiling water, the extreme temperature change will likely cause the shell to crack, causing the egg white to bubble out of the fissure. This is not the biggest deal in the world, sure, but when presentation matters, you’ll want to take a little extra care.
It’s called brown butter, not blackened butter. Photo: Gentl & Hyers
If you’ve ever made brown butter, you know that it takes just seconds to go from that golden, nutty color to black and burned. (If you haven’t made brown butter, may we suggest cooking these Scallops with Herbed Brown Butter immediately?) Don’t make the process any harder on yourself by shocking the butter in a ripping hot pan. The proper technique is to melt the butter slowly and patiently wait, swirling the pan periodically, as the milk solids toast and become the color of hazelnuts (psst—that’s where the French term for brown butter, beurre noisette, comes from).
Vitals is a new blog from Lifehacker all about health and fitness
When your favorite diet advice is the same as junk food peddlers’ favorite diet advice, maybe you should reconsider.
“Everything in moderation” is attractive advice, but also a trap. It amounts to saying we shouldn’t have too much of anything, which is true by definition: that’s why we call it “too much.” But the word “moderation” is vague, and its vagueness makes it a friendly, big-tent kind of concept: however much you eat, you can find a way of convincing yourself that you eat in moderation.
We Appeal to “Moderation” to Dismiss Things We Don’t Want to Hear
Nutrition professionals have a specific meaning for the word: moderation means small portions, especially when talking about food that we should eat little to none of. This isn’t the “everything in moderation” that Aristotle wrote about, where we try to avoid extremes of too much and too little. There’s no such thing as too little candy: you can skip it entirely and still be perfectly healthy. Instead, nutritionists use the concept of moderation as a tool for managing cravings. Here’s how two dieticians described it in the Journal of Nutrition Education:
“[T]he message of balance, variety and moderation also can help remove some of the psychological baggage attached to healthful eating in the U.S. It can eliminate “all-or-nothing” perceptions that give rise to guilt, and in many cases, overeating, when people inevitably choose less healthful foods.”
There are some good ideas here: eating a little bit of junk food doesn’t have to derail your diet, and knowing that it’s okay to treat yo’self can make it easier to stick to a healthy eating plan in the first place.
Once you give yourself license to eat anything “in moderation,” it easily turns into license to eat anything, and call it moderation. The word has become an excuse, a way to say “screw you, I’m going to eat whatever I want”—all while smugly proclaiming that you live by simple, folksy advice and don’t have to worry about the latest in nutrition science.
You’ll find appeals to moderation in the comments of any advice or news about nutrition. For example, these are some of the responses on Twitter to a Washington Post article about bacon’s association with cancer risk. There are valid criticisms of the bacon-cancer connection, but these comments do not address them:
Kudos to these benevolent nutritionists swooping in with advice to help people manage their cravings! Oh wait. What they’re actually doing is invoking “everything in moderation” as a shield to let them dismiss the news and keep doing what they’re doing.
After all, if you live by a simple rule, you don’t need to keep up with the ever-changing advice on nutrition. Instead of following good advice, you can pretend that you’re following it already. We also use this rule to avoid dealing with harsh truths (What if I do eat too much bacon?). Since there’s no official dividing line between moderation and “too much,” we can draw the line wherever we like: anybody who eats more bacon than me is eating too much. I’m fine, though.
Junk Food Companies Love “Moderation”
Not convinced? Think about this: The junk food companies love the concept of “moderation”.
For example, look at the Back to Balance Coalition, made of 18 “leading food groups” that have signed a statement of principles promoting moderation. Their motto: “All foods fit in a balanced diet.”
And those food groups? They include the Sugar Association, the National Confectioners Association, the Corn Refiners Association (makers of corn syrup), the National Potato Council (remember that most potato consumption in America is through chips and fries), the Grocery Manufacturers Association (members include Coca-Cola and Hershey), and the Snack Food Association.
Their statement declares that “All foods can fit within a healthful, overall dietary pattern if consumed in moderation with appropriate portion size and combined with physical activity.” In other words, these groups really don’t want you to say that you should stop eating their food, or that you should think of your diet as unhealthful if it includes their foods. The idea of junk food being part of a healthy diet reminds me of what Dave Barry said about cereal makers calling their product “part of this complete breakfast”:
Don’t they really mean, “Adjacent to this complete breakfast, “ or “On the same table as this complete breakfast”? And couldn’t they make essentially the same claim if, instead of Froot Loops, they put a can of shaving cream there, or a dead bat?
The reference to physical activity is also technically true while mostly meaningless: Sure, you can burn off the calories in your pack of Doritos, but that doesn’t erase the fact that you ate it. We also know that you can’t rely on exercise to keep you healthy if you’re eating crap.
The National Confectioners Association takes the illusion of moderation a step farther. They endorse, on their website, a semi-scientific limit of “50 to 100 calories a day” from candy. These handy guides give you ideas for how much candy you should can eat: Two Twizzlers. Ten gummy bears. A single “fun size” candy bar. If you want a full size candy bar, that eats (sorry) your candy allotment for the whole week.
Yet on the same web site, they offer advice on how to get people to impulse-buy more candy. Checkout lanes should be stocked 51% with gum, mints, drinks, and snacks for people who want to “recharge” after a long shopping trip; and 39% of the space should go to chocolate and other candy for people who want to reward themselves for completing the chore of shopping.
The association’s more strict stance fits with the FDA’s recent recommendation that Americans should have no more than 10% of their calories from added sugar, or about 200 calories a day. (The World Health Organization recommends half that amount).
But they don’t actually stand behind that limit. When the FDA proposed adding their recommended limit to package labels (giving added sugars a percent daily value like other nutrients) a spokesperson for the NCA told Food Business News that the group doesn’t support the proposal:
The National Confectioners Association said the F.D.A.’s plans to place percentage daily values for added sugars on food labels were unnecessary and may confuse consumers.
In other words, the claims about moderation are lip service without any intention to commit. If pressed, they’ll say they only recommend a teensy amount of candy per day, but they’re hoping that consumers won’t find out about, much less abide by, the two-Twizzler limit.
FInd a Better Rule
“Everything in moderation” is a crappy rule to live by. But it’s great asinspiration for coming up with rules that can help you in the long run.
It’s true that small portions of junk food are better than large portions, and that you don’t have to completely cut a well-loved treat out of your life. So decide—now, not when you’re standing at the sundae bar—what treats are worth eating and how much you can “afford” to eat without sabotaging yourself.
We have lots of advice on this here at Lifehacker, because dealing with cravings for junk food is a normal part of life. Maybe it wasn’t when we were all hunter-gatherers (then again, some hunter-gatherers eat a lot of honey) but we live in a world where the checkout lanes are packed with treats meant to prey on our psychological weaknesses.
So you can choose your treats on their merits, deciding for example whether that slice of cake tastes good enough to be worth a minor setback in your weight loss. You can be mindful of your cravings and create triggers to redirect yourself to better choices.
You can even ditch the moderation mindset entirely and declare certain foods off-limits. Use this strategy with caution, since it doesn’t work for everybody or with every food, but sometimes knowing that you have to say no can give you peace of mind by making decisions easy. You can also say no to all foods, but on a temporary basis during the day: this is called intermittent fasting, and it can help manage cravings.
Which strategy you choose depends on your goals. If you’re not trying to lose weight—or if you’ve decided that you just don’t care what you eat (maybe this is a stressful time in your life and you just need to get through this last year of school with whatever comfort foods it takes), be honest with yourself. And be honest with others too: don’t dismiss dietary advice with “Duh, everything in moderation.” Instead tell the truth: “That’s probably good advice, but I’m not going to follow it.”
Illustration by Tara Jacoby.
In a study of nearly 26,000 beneficiaries of Tricare, the military health system, those taking statin drugs to control their cholesterol were 87 percent more likely to develop diabetes. The research confirms past findings on the link between the widely prescribed drugs and diabetes risk. But it is among the first to show the connection in a relatively healthy group of people. The study included only people who at baseline were free of heart disease, diabetes, and other severe chronic disease.
In a database study of nearly 26,000 beneficiaries of Tricare, the military health system, those taking statin drugs to control their cholesterol were 87 percent more likely to develop diabetes.
The study, reported online April 28, 2015, in the Journal of General Internal Medicine, confirms past findings on the link between the widely prescribed drugs and diabetes risk. But it is among the first to show the connection in a relatively healthy group of people. The study included only people who at baseline were free of heart disease, diabetes, and other severe chronic disease.
“In our study, statin use was associated with a significantly higher risk of new-onset diabetes, even in a very healthy population,” says lead author Dr. Ishak Mansi. “The risk of diabetes with statins has been known, but up until now it was thought that this might be due to the fact that people who were prescribed statins had greater medical risks to begin with.”
Mansi is a physician-researcher with the VA North Texas Health System and the University of Texas Southwestern in Dallas.
In the study, statin use was also associated with a “very high risk of diabetes complications,” says Mansi. “This was never shown before.” Among 3,351 pairs of similar patients–part of the overall study group–those patients on statins were 250 percent more likely than their non-statin-using counterparts to develop diabetes with complications.
Statin users were also 14 percent more likely to become overweight or obese after being on the drugs.
Mansi points out that other studies have arrived at a similar finding through different research methods.
The study also found that the higher the dose of any of the statins, the greater the risk of diabetes, diabetes complications, and obesity.
A key strength of Mansi’s study was the use of a research method known as propensity score matching. Out of the total study population, the researchers chose 3,351 statin users and paired them with non-users who were very similar, at baseline, based on array of 42 health and demographic factors. The only substantial difference, from a research standpoint, was the use of statins. This helped the researchers isolate the effects of the drugs.
“This approach helps us to make comparisons that are fair and balanced,” says Mansi.
On a wider scale, looking at the overall comparison between the study’s roughly 22,000 nonusers and 4,000 users, and statistically adjusting for certain factors, the researchers found a similar outcome: Users of statins were more than twice as likely to develop diabetes.
The researchers examined patient records for the period between October 2003 and March 2012.
About three-quarters of the statin prescriptions in Mansi’s data were for simvastatin, sold as Zocor.
Mansi stresses that the study doesn’t definitively show that statins cause diabetes, nor does it mean people should stop using the drugs, which are widely prescribed to help people lower their cardiac risk factors.
“No patient should stop taking their statins based on our study, since statin therapy is a cornerstone in treatment of cardiovascular diseases and has been clearly shown to lower mortality and disease progression,” he says. “Rather, this study should alert researchers, [clinical] guideline writers, and policymakers that short-term clinical trials might not fully describe the risks and benefits of long-term statin use for primary prevention.”
Primary prevention refers to warding off disease in the first place.
Mansi urges further trials, similar to his group’s, to better understand the long-term effects of statin use.
Overall, besides driving further research, Mansi says he hopes the results will help inform conversations between patients and providers about the risks and benefits of statins.
“I myself am a firm believer that these medications are very valuable for patients when there are clear and strict indications for them,” he says. “But knowing the risks may motivate a patient to quit smoking, rather than swallow a tablet, or to lose weight and exercise. Ideally, it is better to make those lifestyle changes and avoid taking statins if possible.”
I can honestly say this is the best soup I’ve ever had!
Creamy Caramelized Leek Soup with Maple Glazed Bacon
Serving Size : 4
6 each leeks — sliced
6 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1/3 cup dry white wine
4 cups chicken stock
2/3 cup almond milk
2 whole green onions — thinly sliced
2 tablespoons olive oil for drizzling
4 slices thick-cut bacon
2 tablespoons maple syrup
1) Make sure the leeks have been trimmed, rinsed thoroughly and patted as dry as they can be with a paper towel.
2) Heat a large pot over medium-low heat and add the olive oil and butter. Add the leeks, salt, pepper and crushed pepper flakes and toss well to coat. Cook, stirring every few minutes, until the leeks begin to brown, about 20 to 25 minutes. Once the leeks are starting to brown, stir in the brown sugar and cook for another 10 minutes until they are super caramelized. Stir in the roasted garlic. Increase the heat slightly to medium and add the wine. Stir to combine, then cook for a few minutes until most of the wine cooks off. Pour in the stock and stir. Bring the soup to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for 15 minutes.
3) Turn off the heat and carefully add the entire mixture to a blender and puree until smooth. Pour the pureed soup back in the pot and heat it over low heat. Stir in the almond milk, then tasted and add more salt and pepper if desired. Serve the soup with a sprinkle of green onions, a drizzle of olive oil and a handful of crushed maple bacon.
Maple glazed bacon;
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and place a nonstick wire rack on top. Bake for 18 to 20 minutes, until bacon is starting to get crispy in parts and the fat is rendered. Remove the bacon from the oven and brush it on both sides with maple syrup. Bake for another 6 to 8 minutes until the bacon is crispy and dark. Remove from the oven and brush with maple syrup once more, then let cool completely. Once cooled, crushed into bits.
I found this recipe on an amazing site site called How Sweet It Is- Click here to check out her site! I made changes to render it gluten and lactose free.
Serving Size : 4
1/2 heads organic cauliflower
1 whole onion — diced
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
1 tablespoon garlic granules
1/2 tablespoon thyme
salt and pepper
Sauté onion in butter until golden.
Place florets in bowl of food processor in batches. Process until evenly chopped but not completely pulverized.
Remove rice to a large bowl and continue processing florets in batches until all florets are “riced”.
Heat butter in pan over medium high heat and add cauliflower rice. Fry it, with onions, garlic powder, thyme, salt and pepper for about 4 or 5 minutes, stirring gently, often to keep it from sticking.