Friday, 24 February 2012

Beware of White Processed Foods

Not many natural foods are white except for potatoes, onions and coconuts. No processed foods would be white except for the processes they deliberately go through in order to make them so. Derivative products such as white bread, cakes, crackers, pastries and donuts derive their colour from the white flour they are made from. White rice gets its colour from a process applied in the making of the end product.

White flour is made from wheat that has several pesticides applied to it whist growing in the field. A wheat grain kernel is composed of three layers: the bran, the germ and the endosperm layer. During the milling process, the bran is first removed which contains all the fibre; the germ is then removed which contains most of the nutrients and fats; only the core endosperm layer is kept which is mostly starch.

The starchy flour is then given a chlorine gas bath in order to bleach it and make it white. Chlorine gas is a flour bleaching and oxidising agent that is a powerful irritant that is dangerous to inhale. The chlorine gas reacts with the flour to oxidise it and make it white. But it also converts a dough additive called xanthine into a toxic substance called alloxan. The latter is a toxin which destroys pancreatic islet cells resulting in diabetes. Alloxan has been used in lab tests to deliberately induce diabetes in rats. Trace elements of alloxan are left in the end product.

After all that, the manufacturer then introduces synthetic vitamins and minerals to enrich the product which are inferior to the natural ones removed in the first instance; and the end product it left without any fibre at all.

White rice goes through a similar process to white flour: in which the rice that comes off the paddy fields goes through a process known as husking to remove the outer and inner husks; the grain is then bleached and polished to make it white; lots of essential nutrients are lost in the process; and then inferior synthetic ones are added back. The end product is left severely deficient in nutrients and containing no fibre at all.

People purchasing white rice, or products made from white flour, need to be educated on how these products are made. Most purchasers associate the colour white with cleanliness and wholeness, but as we have seen above nothing could be further from the truth. 

Consumers could do the following in order to combat the health hazards outlined above: boycott all derivative products made from white flour; in the case of bread, only purchase wholemeal bread; avoid  purchasing white rice; and on visits to restaurants where rice is a constituent part of the meal, insist on brown rice being served.   

Sunday, 19 February 2012

Why Whole Food Concentrates & Supplements Are Necessary

The British government are the only government that I am aware of to have done a study over time on the depletion of the nutrient value of food caused by modern farming methods. The study that I am referring to was started in the 1930's and concluded in the 1990's. The years 1940 and 1992 are of particular importance in the study. A selection of vegetables, fruits and meats from those two particular years were compared in the raw and, where appropriate, cooked states to determine the loss of critical minerals such as calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, zinc etc.

A very brief summary of the findings of the losses over this 52 year period is as follows: vegetables lost on average 31% of their mineral content; fruits lost on average 23%; and meats lost on average 30%. There is no reason to suppose this loss of essential nutrients hasn't continued from 1992 to the present time. The reasons for the losses are modern methods involving intensive farming, the mechanisation of farms, fertilizer policy and the use of chemicals and sprays on crops.

That particular study just related to the state of the land that the selection of vegetables, fruits and meats came from. Whilst the condition of the land from which products are sourced is important, the other variables to consider with food in order to get the best nutritional value from it is: how fresh is it; how is stored; and how is it cooked ? Vital nutrients can be lost with cabbage, for instance, simply by overcooking it. These variables are such that there is no guarantee that you are getting all the nutrients that you need on a daily basis from what you consume.

If we cannot derive all the vitamins, minerals and fibre we need daily from the food we eat, what can we do to compensate? The answer to that question is take whole food concentrates and supplements to make up for the deficiency in the diet. 

Wednesday, 15 February 2012

Acidic Foods Cause Obesity, Type 2 Diabetes & Arthritis

Modern processed foods cause a build-up of acids in the body (a condition called acidosis). If the body becomes too acidic, then these acids attack and destroy essential minerals and nutrients the body needs to stay healthy. There is lots of evidence to support the fact that an acidic body can lead to all sorts of health problems such as obesity, type 2 diabetes arthritis and gout. It is easy to have an acidic body, although there are degrees of acidity, in today's world due to the influence of modern processed, junk and convenience foods.

It is therefore crucial that a person in order to stay healthy pays attention, especially as they age, to everything consumed on a daily basis. It is better that the body has an alkaline bias than an acidic one. Maintaining the proper acid/ alkaline balance is therefore remaining healthy.

Foods and drinks that cause and acidic state are red meat, poultry, coffee, carbonated soft drinks, alcohol, some grains, any processed food with sugar added, white flour, white rice, cheese and seafood. There is also evidence to support the contention that mental stress can further aggravate the effects of an acidic body. Foods and drinks that encourage an alkaline state are fruits, green vegetables, nuts, seeds, sugar-free yogurt, water, coconut milk, green & herbal tea.

It is amazing what a person can do over time to influence the acid/alkaline balance in the body by switching from a food or drink that causes an acid build -up to one that has an alkalising effect. If a person were to switch from drinking coffee to water, for instance, that single change alone would have a significant impact on the acid/alkaline balance in the body. 

Monday, 13 February 2012

The Reason for This Blog

I started this blog to discuss and promote alternatives to pharmaceutical drugs, which get too readily prescribed for health problems by many doctors in developed countries across the globe. In some cases, from once a person is diagnosed as having a health problem, the alternatives to prescribed drugs are not even considered in the first instance. When you consider that most drugs only treat the symptoms, and not the underlying cause of the problem for which they are prescribed, aren't doctors doing their patients a disservice by not considering the alternatives at the outset? Nearly all prescribed drugs have side effects, and in some cases these are so nasty that they completely negate any benefits the patient might have received.

The current system of treating health problems with drugs in counties like the UK and USA has evolved over a long period of time. Most people in the developed world now expect their doctor to supply a pill that provides instant relief rather than consider what lies at the root cause of the problem, such as poor nutrition. Lots of health problems arise from a nutritional deficiency in the first instance. In a world full of junk or convenience food, it is easy not to be getting the nutrients that you require daily in order to live a healthy life.

However, some countries' health authorities, such as the UK for instance, have tried to turn the tide away from junk food by saying that they recommend that everybody eats at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day as a preventative measure against health problems. At least that is a start in the right direction !

This blog welcomes any serious contribution anybody has to make on the related subjects of diet, exercise, nutrition and health.