Saturday, October 15, 2011
There are plenty of reasons why people want to lose excess weight, including feeling better and looking better. Hereís a reason that might tip the scales in favor of shedding those pounds for good, though. Fat tissue doesnít just sit around minding its own business. In fact, it gets into the ďbusinessĒ of other areas of the body and can wreak havoc.
Scientists, whose findings were published in the Journal of Proteome Research, have discovered 20 new hormones and other previously unknown substances that are secreted into the blood by human fat cells. This realization confirms that fat is far from being inactive. Itís actually an active organ that sends chemical signals to other parts of the body, which can increase a personís risk for cancer, heart disease, diabetes and other diseases. Thatís pretty sobering, too, especially when you take into account that there are billions of fat cells in the body.
Excess fat tissue also promotes increased and unhealthy levels of inflammation compounds in the bloodstream. Additionally, it adds to oxidative stress on the body, which can lead to DNA mutation and lessened immune function. Put together, these ďfat tissue forcesĒ can lead to the formation and multiplication of unhealthy cells.
Perhaps thatís why more than 100,000 cancers in the United States each yearómost of them preventableóare linked to excess body fat, according to data from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR). The AICR highlights that over-the-top body fat is linked to 49 percent of endometrial cancers, 35 percent of esophageal cancers, 28 percent of pancreatic cancers, 24 percent of kidney cancers, 21 percent of gallbladder cancers, 17 percent of breast cancers and 9 percent of colorectal cancers.
So, why does being overweight increase a personís risk of cancer? Laurence N. Kolonel, M.D., Ph.D., Deputy Director of the Cancer Research Center of Hawaii and member of the expert panel who came up with these cancer figures, says that several mechanisms seem to be at work. For example, excess body fat increases hormones like estrogen circulating in the body and can disrupt insulin processes, both of which can increase cancer risk. Kolonel adds, ďBeing overweight creates low-grade inflammation in the body, and thereís a lot of research going on right now that links chronic inflammation to cancer.Ē Kolonel concludes, ďThe evidence is clear. If people sustain a normal body weight and remain physically active throughout life, it will have a major impact on cancer incidence.Ē Poor diet, of course, is linked to cancer as well, according to the AICR and the World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF).
The American Cancer Society (ACS) weighs in, too. A 2003 ACS study of more than 900,000 men and women indicated that death rates from all cancers were 53 percent higher for the heaviest men and 62 percent higher for the heaviest women in the study, compared to those who were of normal weight. Itís bad enough that carrying around too much weight can feed cancer and other unhealthy outcomes, but about half of all Americans donít even know that being overweight is a cancer risk, says the AICR.
If you want to support a healthy weight, then stick to a healthy diet which includes plenty of servings of fresh vegetables and fruits as well as whole grains and other good-for-you foods, including those that can support healthy inflammation levels. Additionally, be sure to include at least 30 minutes of moderate to vigorous physical activity five days a week or more.
It could just help you avoid excess fatís weighty consequences.
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Dr. Fifeís Non-Stick Cooking Oil
Oils are added to foods to improve taste and texture. Another very important reason for using oil is for its non-stick properties. Oil keeps food from sticking to cookware. Whether youíre baking or frying, oil helps prevent food from burning onto the pans and helps make cleanup easier.
The primary drawback with using coconut oil in cooking is that it is not as good a lubricant as most other oils. Foods cooked in coconut oil often have a tendency to stick somewhat. If youíve ever fried an egg in coconut oil you know what I mean. You have to scrub the pan afterwards to remove all the egg. The same is true with baking. Baked goods like to cling to the sides of the pan even when coconut oil is used.
This caused me a lot of frustration when I was developing recipes for my cookbooks because I didnít want to use other, less healthy oils to coat my pans. I, however, found a solution to this problem. As I was developing recipes for my book Cooking with Coconut Flour, I discovered how to make coconut oil become a completely non-stick cooking oil and improve its nutritional content at the same time.
I am totally amazed at how well it works. With this oil, you have all the health benefits of coconut oil combined with the anti-sticking properties of the best non-stick cooking sprays. In my opinion, it is absolutely the best cooking oil available. It can be used for baking or frying. Foods donít stick at all. They easily slide out of the pan. Even breads seem to slide out of the pans with ease.
Since Iíve been using this new oil Iíve never had to scrub another pan. Because foods donít stick, pans are incredibly easy to clean. With a little soap and water you simply wipe them clean in a matter of seconds. Iíve never used an oil that makes clean up so easy.
This non-stick cooking oil is made from a combination of organic coconut oil and unbleached liquid lecithin. Unbleached lecithin has a dark amber color and when combined with coconut oil produces a rich buttery color. In fact, it looks just like butter. It could appropriately be called coconut butter.
Lecithin is a common food ingredient used as an emulsifier. Lecithin, also known as phosphatidylcholine, is gaining much recognition as a valuable dietary supplement. Because of lecithinís potential as a dietary supplement it has been extensively studied. Even in relatively large amounts it has shown to have no harmful side effects. All commercial sources of lecithin are derived from soy. Soy lecithin, however, does not contain the phytoestrogens or goitrogens associated with soy that have been scrutinized in recent years. It is completely harmless with many healthy benefits.
Lecithin is a source of choline, which is one of the B vitamins important to human health, particularly brain health. It has gained a reputation as a natural means of preserving and improving mental function. Choline is one of the few substances able to penetrate the blood-brain barrier. It goes directly into the brain cells to produce a chemical, acetylcholine, that aids memory. A number of studies have shown a positive effect of phosphocholine on preventing dementia and improving cognitive function. Dietary supplements of phosphatidylcholine (lecithin) are sold specifically for this purpose. Evidence shows that it may be of help with patients with advanced Alzheimerís disease by improving orientation, learning, and memory. For these reasons, it is finding use among Alzheimerís patients and those who are concerned about preserving their mental function as they go older.
Studies have shown that lecithin provides many additional benefits.
Improves fat digestion.
Increases absorption of fat-soluble nutrients (e.g., vitamins A, D, E, K, and beta-carotene, etc.).
May help to slow the deterioration of the myelin (nerve covering), which is depleted in multiple sclerosis (MS) sufferers.
May help prevent the development of hypertension.
Aids the liver and helps protect it from toxins, such as alcohol.
Increases the capacity of bile to dissolve and remove cholesterol and prevent gallstones.
The combination of the numerous health benefits of coconut oil with those of lecithin makes this one of the healthiest cooking oils you could use.
However, unless you were in my home you could not enjoy the benefits of this remarkable oil. But itís far too good to be kept a secret. So Iím going to give you the recipe here. Itís very simple. All you need to do is mix ľ cup of melted coconut oil with Ĺ teaspoon of liquid lecithin. Use what you need and store the rest in the refrigerator. It will last for months. In fact, I made a large batch two years ago that I am still using. ■
I hate using non-stick pans. I found this and plan on using it, would be great to be able to be non-stick and healthy too!
Saturday, October 15, 2011
Honoring Life Changes
The Wisdom of Fear
Anything really worth doing in our lives will always have some fear attached to it.
Anything worth doing will always have some fear attached to it. For example, having a baby, getting married, changing careersóall of these life changes can bring up deep fears. It helps to remember that this type of fear is good. It is your way of questioning whether you really want the new life these changes will bring. It is also a potent reminder that releasing and grieving the past is a necessary part of moving into the new.
Fear has a way of throwing us off balance, making us feel uncertain and insecure, but it is not meant to discourage us. Its purpose is to notify us that we are at the edge of our comfort zone, poised in between the old life and a new one. Whenever we face our fear, we overcome an inner obstacle and move into new and life-enhancing territory, both inside and out. The more we learn to respect and even welcome fear, the more we will be able to hear its wisdom, wisdom that will let us know that the time has come to move forward, or not. While comfort with fear is a contradiction in terms, we can learn to honor our fear, recognizing its arrival, listening to its intelligence, and respecting it as a harbinger of transformation. Indeed, it informs us that the change we are contemplating is significant, enabling us to approach it with the proper reverence.
You might wish to converse with your fear, plumbing its depths for a greater understanding of the change you are making. You could do this by sitting quietly in meditation and listening or by journaling. Writing down whatever comes upóyour worries, your sadness, your excitement, your hopesóis a great way to learn about yourself through the vehicle of fear and to remember that fear almost always comes alongside anything worth doing in your life.
Source: Daily OM email.
Hope you have a super Saturday!
Friday, October 14, 2011
"Sometimes we stare so long at a door that is closing that we see too late the one that is open."
-- Alexander Graham Bell, Inventor
Love this quote, so true.
So glad it's Friday and hope to leave an hour early today. Have a good one!
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