Teflon Pans and Cancer: Is There a Link?

WebMD the Magazine - Feature
Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD

Q: I've heard that using Teflon nonstick pans for cooking can cause cancer. Is that true?

A: Tremendous confusion exists on this topic, but we're happy to report this belief is FALSE.

ccording to the findings of a 2006 Environmental Protection Agency scientific advisory panel, the primary chemical used to make Teflon -- perfluorooctanoic acid or PFOA -- is a "likely human carcinogen." But that applies only to PFOA that has been emitted into the environment.

"The link between Teflon cookware and cancer is an entirely different subject," says Robert Wolke, professor emeritus of chemistry at the University of Pittsburgh and author of the two-part book series What Einstein Told His Cook. "There is no PFOA in the final Teflon product, so there is no risk that it will cause cancer in those who use Teflon cookware."

That said, Wolke warns, "heating a Teflon pan to 500 degrees or more" (as happens when we leave empty pans on high heat by mistake) can result in smoke and gases that can cause flu-like symptoms in humans and kill pet birds.

So keep an eye on your stovetop and keep your smoke alarms in good working order.

Fast Food Wrappers are More Dangerous Than the Food They Hold

By Brandi Koskie -

Cheeseburgers are bad for you. French fries are bad for you. Double-cheesy-triple-layer-giant-sized burritos are bad for you. None of this is news. However, what if you learned that the paper that wraps these drive-through delicacies was worse for you than the food they hold? This, would be important news.

New research from the University of Toronto reports that this is, sadly, true. Perfluoroalkyls are chemicals that repel grease, oil and water. Typically these are used for Teflon coating, stain-resistant carpet and varnish - things that need to protect themselves from grease and other liquids, according to Additionally, these chemicals are used to coat fast food wrappers, to keep the grease and condiments from reaching your hands. Don't think you're not ingesting it just because a burger was wrapped in it for a couple minutes. High levels of these chemicals are leached into the food that you eat, and thus are showing up in people's blood.

Regulators haven't made motions for stricter regulation on this group of chemicals, also known as PFCAs, because they assumed three things, according to Scott Mabury, the study's lead researcher: “That the chemicals wouldn't move off paper into food; they wouldn't become available to the body; and the body wouldn't process them. They were wrong on all three counts.”

We reported at, in "Fast Food Wrappers as Bad for You as the Food Inside," that "These chemicals belong to the group commonly called 'gender bending' chemicals because they have shown to be disruptive to the endocrine system and can negatively affect the sex hormones." The chemicals are carcinogens, and linger in the environment for a long time, which is why the chemical industry began reducing its dependency. said "The amount of polyfluoroalkyl phosphate [eaters] absorbed from a single fast-food wrapper is not enough to make anyone sick, so don’t fret if you just got back from a drive-thru." However, if artery-clogging amounts of fat, multiple days' worth of calories, and heart-stopping amounts of sodium weren't enough to make you resist your combo meal cravings, maybe cancer-causing packaging will. Likewise, eating one burger once in a while isn't going to hurt. But when you eat fast food daily for one or more meals, and people do this, it becomes a problem.


Myth: Eating Cholesterol-Rich Foods Raises Blood Cholesterol Levels

Myth: Eating Cholesterol-Rich Foods Raises Blood Cholesterol Levels

by Chris Masterjohn

The myth goes something like this: arteries are like pipes; cholesterol is gooey, sticky gunk. When you eat cholesterol, it winds up in your blood. If the cholesterol level in your blood gets too high, it starts caking up the pipes. Thus, if you don't want your pipes clogged, don't eat foods rich in cholesterol.

Such is the basic logic behind advice to avoid eating nutrient-dense foods like liver and egg yolks.

Eating Cholesterol Does Not Raise Blood Cholesterol Levels

The truth is, however, that there is no direct connection between the amount of cholesterol you eat and the concentration of cholesterol in your blood. In most people, eating cholesterol has little or no effect on this amount. In about 30 percent of the population, eating cholesterol does in fact increase the concentration of cholesterol in the blood — but it increases the "good" cholesterol.

Busting the Myth:
In over two thirds of the population, then, egg consumption leads to little or no change in cholesterol at all. In less than a third of the population, total cholesterol goes up, but both the ratio of LDL to HDL and the total number of LDL particles remains the same; the LDL particles just get bigger and safer.

If arteries were like pipes and cholesterol was like gunk, more gunk would just clog up the pipe — but arteries are nothing like pipes and cholesterol is nothing like gunk. Consider the myth busted.


The insulin/fat connection

The primary source of body fat for most Americans is not dietary fat ----- but carbohydrate, which is converted to blood sugar and then, with the aid of insulin, to fat by fat cells.

Remember, insulin is our main fat-building hormone. Eat a plate of pasta. Your blood sugar will rise and your insulin level (if you have type 2 diabetes or are not diabetic) will also rise in order to cover, or prevent, the jump in blood sugar. All the blood sugar that is not burned as energy or stored as glycogen is turned into fat.

So you could, in theory, acquire more body fat from eating a big carb "fat-free" dessert than you would from eating a tender steak nicely marbled with fat. Even the fat in the steak is more likely to be stored if it is accompanied by bread, potatoes, corn, and so on.

Now consider what would happen if you instead ate a “fat-free” dessert with exactly the same number of calories as that steak. Your insulin level will jump dramatically in order to cover the sugar and starches in the dessert. Remember, insulin is the fat-building and fat storage hormone. Since it’s dessert, you probably won’t be going out to run a marathon after eating, so the largest portion of your newly created blood sugar won’t get burned. Instead much of it will be turned into fat and stored.

Interestingly enough, eating fat with carbohydrate can actually slow the digestion of carbohydrate, so the jump in your blood sugar level might thereby be slowed. This would probably be relatively effective if you’re talking about eating a green salad with vinegar-and-oil dressing. But if you’re eating a regular dessert, or a baked potato with your steak, the slowdown in digestion would not prevent blood sugar elevation in a diabetic.

Read more about this the insulin/fat connection here.

Carbs + dietary fat = converts to body fat

I love my carbs - but I am also aware of how much and what kinds I am consuming. According to a top-notch authority on the subject, Richard K. Bernstein, MD, in his wonderfully informative book; Diabetes Solution, states:

"If you give it some thought, it makes perfect sense: If a farmer wants to fatten up his pigs or cows, he doesn't feed them meat or butter and eggs, he feeds them grain. If you want to fatten yourself up, just start loading up on bread, pasta, potatoes, cake and cookies - all high carb foods. If you want to hasten the fattening process, consume dietary fat with your carbs. Indeed, two recent studies shown that dietary fat, when consumed as part of a high-carb diet, was converted to body fat. Fat consumed as part of a low-carb diet was metabolized, or burned off."


When you want a change from your plain, ole water.....

I just found out what an Italian soda is!  I had the club soda and sugar-free vanilla syrup on hand and came across the recipe in a diet book for low sugar eating.  Wow!  It's great!  Calorie and sugar-free and it taste fantastic!  You can gussy up the drink by adding cream to make a cream soda.

This is a healthy alternative to "real soda" - which is horrible for our health.  Club soda is simply plain water that has carbon bubbles added.  Get the low-sodium kind if you are avoiding salt. 

Italian Soda: Basic Recipe

* 2 Tbs flavored sugar-free syrup
* 8-12 oz club soda

Pour syrup into glass, add club soda and stir.

That is easy, isn't it? Now, when you need to add some luxury to that you want a Cremosa.

Cremosa:Basic Recipe

* 2 Tbs flavored sugar-free syrup

* 8 oz club soda
* 4 oz half and half or cream

Stir together, or serve in layers. To serve in layers, pour the syrup in the glass. Add the club soda, then partially whip heavy cream and float it on top. It takes some practice but is a beautiful presentation.

Tip: The secret is to mix in the order given in this recipe. This will keep your milk from curdling.
Start with a large glass. Pour syrup into the glass (a few tablespoons, you may like more or less). Next add the cream, half and half, or milk. Stir them together. Now fill the glass with club soda and ice. Top with whipped cream if desired. Drink with a straw. Enjoy!

Now that you have the basics down...Here are some of the best flavor combinations:

* Victorian-1 tbs vanilla, 1 tbs rose
* Creamsicle-1 tbs orange, 1 tbs vanilla
* Creme Brulee-1 tbs caramel, 1 tbs vanilla
* French Countryside- 1/2 tbs lavender, 1 1/2 tbs lemon
* Summer Afternoon-2 tsp blackberry, 2 tsp white chocolate, 2 tsp violet
* S'mores-1tbs toasted Marshmallow, 1/2 tbs Caramel, 1/2 tbs Chocolate

There are literally hundreds more combinations and ways of making them, and each of the recipes can be used for cremosas as well.

Click here for Da Vinci cold drink recipes using their sugar-free syrups.


Weights will bring down your sugar better than jumping around aerobically

This may be a longish post - but stay with me - you will learn how to effectively lift weights to bring your sugar levels down. Here's how:

The major problem a type 2 diabetic has is the insensitivity of the cells of their body to the effects of the insulin that their body is producing. This insensitivity is called "insulin resistance". Exercising the muscles of the body can greatly increase the sensitivity to insulin, and as that sensitivity is increased it brings sugar levels down naturally. Doctor Richard Bernstein has developed a way to exercise the body that greatly improves the body's sensitivity to insulin, and this is covered below:

"Insulin resistance, which is the hallmark of Type II diabetes, is enhanced in proportion to the ratio of abdominal fat to lean body mass. One of the best ways to improve this ratio in order to lower your insulin resistance is to increase your lean body mass. Therefore, for most Type II diabetics, the most valuable type of exercise is muscle building."
If you eat this....ya gotta do what the little guy is doing...

"First, what is muscle-building exercise? Resistance training, weight training (weight lifting), or gymnastics would all qualify."

"Aerobic exercise is exercise mild enough that your muscles are not deprived of oxygen. When muscles exercise aerobically, they don't increase much in mass and they don't require as much glucose for energy. Anaerobic exercise deprives the muscles of oxygen; it tires them quickly and requires about fourteen times as much glucose to do the same amount of work as aerobic exercise."

"The blood sugar drop during and after continuous anaerobic exercise will be much greater than after a similar period of aerobic exercise."

"The efficiency of your own (or injected) insulin in transporting glucose and in suppressing glucose output by the liver becomes considerably greater when anaerobic exercise is incorporated into your program."

"Anaerobic metabolism produces lactic acid, which accumulates in the active muscles, causing pain. Since the acid is cleared almost immediately when the muscles relax, the pain likewise vanishes upon relaxation. You can identify anaerobic exercise by the local pain and the accompanying weakness. This pain is limited to the muscles being exercised, goes away quickly when the activity stops, and does not refer to agonizing muscle cramps or to cardiac pain in the chest. Anaerobic activities can include weight lifting, sit-ups, climbing, chinning, push-ups, running up a steep incline, uphill cycling, gymnastics, using a stair climber, and so forth, provided that these activities are performed with adequate loads and at enough velocity to cause pain or transient discomfort."

"You can achieve continuous anaerobic activity, but on a rotating basis. After you finish exercising certain of your abdominal muscles by doing sit-ups, for instance, you switch to push-ups, which focus on various arm and shoulder muscles. From there, you go to chinning. Similarly, different weight-lifting exercises also focus on different muscle groups."
Don't know who this guy is.....but he looks good in green....

"The buildup of muscle mass lowers insulin resistance and thereby facilitates both blood sugar control and weight loss."

"The most productive way to perform an anaerobic exercise is to tire a particular group of muscles as quickly as possible, and keep them tired during the course of the exercise."

"By placing maximum demands on your muscles at first, you put yourself into the anaerobic (or oxygen-deprived) state right off. Then by slowly progressing to lighter weights, you force your muscles to work continuously in the anaerobic state and thereby build them."
The Best Exercises To Use Are Big, Compound
Movements That Recruit A Lot Of Muscle Mass.

"I start out with as much resistance as I can handle, and then ease up."

"This is how it works: Let's say you're performing curls. These involve sitting at the edge of a bench or chair and flexing your arms at the elbows with weights in each hand. You start with the heaviest weight that you can lift 3 - 4 times."

"By the time you've lifted it 4 times, your muscles are tired and you can't lift it any more. You immediately pick up the next lighter weight and do as many repetitions as you can (say 3 - 4), and so on down through lighter and lighter weights until you get to a total of about 20 repetitions. You might find that you can get out 21, or maybe you can only manage 19 - that's fine. The idea is that after the first few repetitions, your muscles are tired and they're working while they are tired, which is what stimulates muscles to build more mass."

"When you perform anaerobic exercise, your muscles break down for the first 24 hours, but then they build up over the next 24 hours."

"Once you've done your repetitions for a particular muscle group, you don't need to do that exercise again until the day after tomorrow. You immediately go on to the next exercise. In this way, you can accomplish considerably more in a shorter time frame."

"You can accomplish a more thorough and sensible workout in 15 - 30 minutes than you can in an hour and a half of conventional, less strenuous aerobic activity."

excerpted from Dr. Bernstein's Diabetes Solution
by Dr. Richard K. Bernstein

Click here for a great weight training site for women


Kale - a green kind of LOVE

Kale is my new VFF! It has everything a girl could want in a vegetable and will always be there for me.
Great nutrients, vitamins, antioxidants...the list goes on and on.
There is a lot of nutritional info on the web and lots of great recipes for you to discover.

A Few Quick Serving Ideas

* Braise chopped kale and apples. Before serving, sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and chopped walnuts.
* Combine chopped kale, pine nuts, and feta cheese with whole grain pasta drizzled with olive oil.
* Kale, white bean and spicy sausage soup

We crave whole grains

The bran and germ of a grain contain significant amounts of vitamin B, a nutrient that regulates metabolism, maintains healthy skin, steadies muscle tone and promotes cell growth -----BUT--- vitamin B is depleted as we digest carbs of any kind.

If you eat white rice (as in a Chinese dinner) this depletes the vitamin B in your system; ..... but eat brown rice with the bran intact and this will replenish the B you're losing with eating carbs. Did you ever notice that you're hungry a few hours after eating Chinese dinner? Because you filled up on white rice, which is a big hit of carbs (along with lots of added sugars in the stir-fries).

For the nutrition we need, not to mention big flavors in every bite, we crave whole grains!

Source: Real Food Has Curves; How to get off processed food, lose weight, and love what you eat by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Exactly how much sugar???

Want to know how much sugar you're eating? Look at the ingredient list on a package; check out the number of grams of sugar per serving. Now divide that number by four. That's the number of teaspoons of sugar you're getting in each serving. (And notice how many servings the package says it contains. It may surprise you.)

Source: Real Food Has Curves; How to get off processed food, lose weight, and love what you eat by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough

Just what are "Fruit Syrups"?

When a product claims to be made with 100 percent fruit, read the label. If it includes fruit concentrates, it basically includes straight-on, extracted sweeteners.

Food chemists process fruit juice until it is basically fruit-flavored sugar, and then reconstitute it. Fruit a euphemism for sugars.

Source: Real Food Has Curves; How to get off processed food, lose weight, and love what you eat by Bruce Weinstein and Mark Scarbrough


What food beats what food?

By Matthew G. Kadey, M.Sc., R.D., Runner's World
Wed, Sept 08, 2010

As a health-savvy consumer, you try to toss nutrient-packed foods into your grocery cart. But when you're deciding between similar-seeming nutritious items (say, turkey or chicken?), you may not know the superior choice. "Food is your fuel," says Mitzi Dulan, R.D., co-author of The All-Pro Diet. "Selecting the most nutritious options will improve your diet and give you a competitive edge." While you can't go wrong eating both quinoa and brown rice, choosing the nutritional champ may give your workout the boost it needs. In a healthy-food smackdown, here are our winning picks.

Both are health all-stars, but a study in the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry reported that blueberries (particularly wild ones) showed the most antioxidant activity of all the fruits tested. "These antioxidants help keep your immune system strong," says Dulan, "and reduce muscle-tissue damage from exercise."

HEALTHY CHOICE: Mix blueberries into lean ground beef for burgers. The juicy fruit will help keep the meat moist.

Both breast meats are free of saturated fat, but turkey has three additional grams of protein per three-ounce serving, plus more iron (which helps deliver oxygen to muscles) and selenium. "This mineral functions as part of an enzyme called glutathione peroxidase," says sports dietitian Suzanne Girard Eberle, R.D., author of Endurance Sports Nutrition. This enzyme works as an antioxidant to protect cells from free radicals that may contribute to cancer and heart disease.

HEALTHY CHOICE: Make your own lunch meat to avoid the excess sodium in much deli turkey. Bake turkey breasts, slice them thinly, and add to sandwiches.

Almond butter has more calcium and magnesium, a mineral that's often lacking in runners' diets and is important for muscle contraction. While the two nut butters contain about the same amount of fat, the almond variety has 60 percent more monounsaturated fat. "When consumed in place of saturated fat," says Dulan, "monounsaturated fat lowers harmful LDL levels to help decrease heart disease and stroke risk." Almond butter also has three times more vitamin E, an antioxidant that may reduce cancer risk.

HEALTHY CHOICE: Use almond butter instead of PB on your bagel. Blend it into a postrun smoothie, or stir it into oatmeal.

Kale's nutritional value would even win over even Popeye. Gram for gram, kale contains four times more vitamin C, and one and a half times the amount of immune boosting vitamin A and vitamin K. "Vitamin K ensures that blood clots properly," says Eberle, "but it's also needed to make a bone protein essential for strong, healthy bones." Kale contains three times more lutein and zeaxanthin, antioxidants deposited in the retina that work together to protect eye health.

HEALTHY CHOICE: Make kale "chips": Spread bite-sized pieces on a baking sheet. Spray with olive oil, season with salt, and bake for 15 minutes (until crisp).

When Spanish researchers compared cow's and goat's milk from animals raised under similar conditions, they found that both have the same amount of essential amino acids needed to repair and build muscle. But goat's milk contains a larger percentage of omega-3 fats, as well as calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and conjugated linoleic acid (or CLA). Studies suggest CLA has a number of effects, including lowering cancer risk, improving bone health, and helping reduce body fat.

HEALTHY CHOICE: Use tangy, slightly sweet goat's milk (found at health-food stores) the same way as cow's milk—on cereal, in smoothies, and when baking.

According to a study in the Nutrition Journal, researchers in Sweden found that participants who ate rye bread for breakfast experienced less hunger later in the day compared with those who ate wheat bread. Hanna Isaksson, the lead study author, believes that rye's ability to quell hunger is due to its high fiber count. Rye can have up to eight grams of fiber per slice—even more than whole wheat.

HEALTHY CHOICE: Rye bread often contains some refined wheat flour, so to get the most fiber, buy "100 percent rye" loaves or make sure whole rye flour or meal is the first ingredient.

FAT BETTER: Earthy, rich-tasting extra-virgin olive oil contains more anti-inflammatory compounds than canola oil. Use it when you make dips, pesto, and vinaigrettes.

Quinoa beats brown rice
WHY: Quinoa has three extra grams of protein per cooked cup, plus more fiber, iron, and magnesium.

Greek yogurt beats regular yogurt
WHY: The Greek variety has about twice as much protein as traditional types.

Green tea beats coffee
WHY: It's bursting with antioxidants (such as EGCG) that help ward off diabetes and certain cancers.

Pork tenderloin beats beef tenderloin
WHY: The pork version has less saturated fat, more B vitamins, and is cheaper.

Goat cheese beats feta cheese
WHY: Goat cheese has nearly half the cholesterol and a third less sodium.

Orange beats apple
WHY: They have similar amounts of calories and fiber, but oranges have 12 times as much vitamin C.

Red pepper beats green pepper
WHY: It boasts eight times the vitamin A, which keeps your immune system strong.

Flaxseed beats flaxseed oil
WHY: The seeds have lots of magnesium, potassium, selenium, and fiber.


Know what's better than water?

Flavored water!

Homemade flavored water is a real treat! I just made some cucumber water and it's a hit in this household.

I peeled it, but you can leave the skin on if you wish - just make sure you scrub off the wax and pesticides.  I chopped up 2 medium cukes into thin slices and added it to a gallon of water. Let it sit for 12-24 hours for it to steep. Yumm... very refreshing.

And how about watermelon water?
All you need to do is puree two cups of watermelon cubes (seedless, of course) with two cups of water. Pour the puree into a pitcher and stir in another cup of water. The recipe says you can add sugar if it isn't sweet enough, but I can't imagine why you would want to. I think the mildly flavored water would be pleasant, and why would you add sugar to an otherwise healthy refreshment?

If watermelon's not in season, try mango, cantaloupe, strawberries, grapes — whatever you like, as long as you use about 2 cups of fruit.
Also, why not freeze your homemade concoctions into ice cubes to use later in your water drink?
Watermelon Ice Cubes

You could also freeze melon balls to use as ice cubes for added flavor and fun. Enjoy!
How about some chopped up mint into the water that you make into ice cubes?

Here are some comments that posters left on food sites featuring flavored waters:

*  Add sliced turnips too... Basil Leaf Cafe in Chicago serves cucumbers and turnips in their water and it tastes delicious!

*  During the summer my hair salon puts out for their clients one of those big glass jars with a spigot. In it is ice cold water with round slices of cucumbers and oranges floating. It's very pretty to look at and oh, so refreshing!

*  I love making mint water! Mint leaves were already mentioned, and that's one way to make mint water (and a very good fresh way), but I don't usually have fresh mint available. So, I've taken to using peppermint essential oil. Just one drop of this essential oil in a gallon of water gives the water a nice refreshing light minty taste. Yummy!

*  I love to keep a pitcher of water with slices of oranges and lemons in it for a refreshing beverage! Beautiful and flavorful--but you have to love citrus.

*  For all that get tired of plain water and want to avoid artificial sweetners and chemicals. I take a gallon of spring water and pour a little out to leave some room.  Cut slices - a half of orange, lemon, lime, strawberries and cucumber. Let them float in the water, keep in fridge.

*Great idea - and what's so awesome about this, you can keep refilling the water over and over for almost a week. I've done this in the past and when I pour a glass, I just refill the pitcher.


Fish Oil Weight Loss Dosage

Fish Oil Weight Loss Dosage
By Monica Sethi Datta, eHow Contributor

Fish oil provides many health benefits, with a bonus linkage to weight loss. Taking a high-quality fish oil is important to prevent from consuming rancid oil or mercury-laden fish oil. Taking the recommended dosage as a supplement will help with weight loss.

Benefits of Fish Oil
1. Fish oil is an Omega-3 oil recommended for heart health to prevent against cardiovascular disease and lowering cholesterol. Fish oil contains the fatty acids essential for brain development and preventing depression. Fish oil boosts the immune system, aids in proper functioning of the nervous system and helps against dry eyes. The Omega 3 fatty acid in fish oil reduces the risk of developing arthritis. Fish oil is also great for maintaining healthy, acne-free skin and shiny hair.
Dosage for Weight Loss
2. The recommended dosage for weight loss is about 1.5 to 2 grams a day of combined DHA and EPA. Look on the label to find the amount in one capsule. Add the DHA+EPA+ any other essential omega-3 fatty acids that are included.

Side Effects of Fish Oil
3. While fish oil has many great benefits, there are some things to note while consuming this supplement. As fish oil decreases blood clotting, it is not advised to take fish oil supplements before undergoing surgery.

Other minor side effects include upset stomach or stomach pain, diarrhea, increased gas, acid reflux/heartburn/indigestion and a fishy aftertaste when burping. You minimize gastrointestinal side effects by taking the fish oil supplement with food and gradually increasing your dosage intake. There are fish oil supplements with lemon flavor to eliminate the fishy aftertaste when burping.

What do I take? ArcticPure® Ultra Potency Omega-3 Fish Oil
EPA/DHA For Heart, Joints & Immunity * Molecularly Distilled for Pharmaceutical Quality. A Full 850 mg Omega-3 Per Softgel


Tomatoes - Vitamin C and Lycopene

Most of the vitamin C is concentrated in the jellylike substance that encases the seeds. The jellylike substance is actually high in salicylates, which have an anti-clotting effect on the blood. This may be partially responsible for tomatoes' protection against heart disease.

Leave the skin on and add a little olive oil:
Lycopene is in the skin of tomatoes, so if you are making tomato sauce, leave the skin on. Also, lycopene is fat soluble, so cooking tomatoes with a little oil increases absorption.

(P.S.) You know that red tomatoes have more lycopene than green, don't cha? I thought so. Just checking....

Source: Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal, Reader's Digest

The soft drink - fast food link

One reason that soft drinks are linked to obesity may be because they are often consumed with fast foods that are loaded with fat.

The sugar in the soft drink activates the pancreas to produce insulin, but insulin also tells the body to store fat. So, as the pancreas is feeling the effects of the soda, the hamburger and fries arrive, and since the body has more insulin than it needs for the meal.... it stores the fat instead of burning it. Aha!
Source:  Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal, Reader's Digest

Now for the information you may not want to hear, but really should: 15 reasons not to drink soda of any type.

1. Diabetes

Drinking one soda per day increases your risk of diabetes by 85%. Anything that promotes weight gain increases the risk of diabetes. High consumption of sugar-sweetened beverages is associated with a greater magnitude of weight gain by providing excessive calories and large amounts of rapidly absorbable sugars.

2. Extra Weight/Obesity

A child’s obesity risk jumps 60% for every soft drink or sugar-sweetened drink a child drinks a day. One can of soda has about 10 teaspoons of sugar, 150 calories, 30 to 55 mg of caffeine, and is loaded with artificial food colors and sulphites. Just one extra can of soda per day can add as much as 15 pounds to your weight over the course of a single year!

3. Increased Body Acidity

Disease thrives in an acidic environment so it’s best to maintain healthy pH levels. Sodas are very acidic: a typical can of soda has a pH level of approximately 2.5; diet sodas are even more acidic. Normal blood pH is between 7.3 and 7.45. It takes 32 glasses of water to neutralize the effects of the acidity of one can of soda.

4. Altered Intestinal Bacteria, Weight Issues

Having the right bacteria in your gut has an enormous influence on your health. A high-sugar diet alters intestinal bacteria, making losing weight more difficult. Intestinal flora, sometimes called “good” bacteria, is vital for the proper digestion of food and assimilation of nutrients into the blood. When digestive bacteria is out of balance or otherwise altered, the body is unable to convert otherwise indigestible foods into digestible form.

5. Osteoporosis

Soft drinks contain large amounts of phosphorus, which pulls calcium from the bones. Heavy users of soft drinks may develop osteoporosis. There is concern that drinking a few cans of soda can be damaging when they are consumed during the peak bone-building years of childhood and adolescence.

6. Tooth Decay

Sugar isn’t the only soft drink ingredient that causes tooth problems. The acids in soda pop also etch tooth enamel in ways that can lead to cavities. Acid begins to dissolve tooth enamel in only 20 minutes. Phosphoric acid in sodas has an acidity that approaches the level of battery acid.

7. No Nutritional Value

Sodas have no vitamins or minerals and are just empty calories. These empty calories suppress your appetite for healthy food. And chances are if you are drinking soda to quench your thirst, you are drinking less water which is what your body really needs.

8. Higher Cancer Risk

Numerous studies have shown the link between sugar and increased rates of cancer, suggesting that regulating sugar intake is key to slowing tumor growth.

* Sugar intake is a strong risk factor that contributes to higher breast cancer rates, particularly in older women.
* One study revealed soda drinkers have an increased risk of esophageal (throat) cancer (ACE). The study discovered that the average soda drinker consumed over 32,000 additional minutes of acid exposure a year.
* According to another study, women who consume a high dietary glycemic load may increase their risk of colorectal (colon) cancer.

9. Gastrointestinal Issues

The acids in sodas corrode stomach linings and upset the alkaline-acid balance of the kidneys and stomach. Heavy soda consumption is a strong predictor of heartburn. Sodas deliver air in the form of carbon dioxide, which causes distention of the stomach, which is associated with more reflux.

10. Chemicals Leached From Aluminum Cans and Plastic Bottles

Most sodas come in either aluminum cans or plastic bottles.

* Aluminum is absorbed and accumulated in the body. It’s been found that aluminum exposure increases Alzheimer’s risk as well as other serious illnesses including osteoporosis, extreme nervousness, anemia, headache, decreased liver and kidney function, forgetfulness, speech disturbances and memory loss.
* Many types of plastic bottles still contain bisphenol-A (BPA) and phthalates, both of which are hormone-mimicking chemicals that can potentially cause many health problems including reproductive abnormalities, diabetes, neurological problems, heart disease, and cancer. The FDA changed their position and now warns about BPA risks.

11. Increase Incidence of Fatty Liver Disease

A study found a link between drinking soft drinks and fruit juice and developing Non-Alcoholic Fatty Liver Disease (NAFLD). This is a concern because, in the long-term, this liver condition can contribute to heart disease, diabetes, cirrhosis of the liver, and liver cancer.

12. Kidney Stones and Kidney Disease

Drinking soda doubles the risk of kidney disease. Colas in particular seem to promote kidney stones. Your body must buffer the acidity of soft drinks with calcium from your own bones. As this calcium is eliminated through your urine, it slowly forms kidney stones.

13. Hyperactivity and Mental Problems

A Norwegian study has shown that teens who drink the largest quantities of sugary soft drinks also have more mental health problems, including hyperactivity and distress.

14. Potassium Depletion, Paralysis

A recent study of cola-induced hypokalaemia (abnormally low potassium concentration in your blood) suggests that potassium depletion is yet another soft drink-related health problem. From

The problem is that if you’re a chronic soda drinker, you’re likely to develop obesity, hypertension, and diabetes, which in turn will make you more vulnerable to the potentially lethal effects of chronically low potassium levels, which include muscle paralysis and cardiac arrhythmias.

15. Gout

Men who drink two or more sugary soft drinks a day have an 85 percent higher risk of gout than those who drink less than one a month. Gout causes painful, swollen joints, usually in your lower limbs, caused when uric acid crystallizes out of your blood into your joints.

And if that wasn’t enough information, here is a bit more:

What Happens to Your Body Within an Hour of Drinking a Coke

From and The Nutrition Research Center:

Within the first 10 minutes, 10 teaspoons of sugar hit your system. This is 100 percent of your recommended daily intake, and the only reason you don’t vomit as a result of the overwhelming sweetness is because phosphoric acid cuts the flavor.

Within 20 minutes, your blood sugar spikes, and your liver responds to the resulting insulin burst by turning massive amounts of sugar into fat.

Within 40 minutes, caffeine absorption is complete; your pupils dilate, your blood pressure rises, and your livers dumps more sugar into your bloodstream.

Around 45 minutes, your body increases dopamine production, which stimulates the pleasure centers of your brain – a physically identical response to that of heroin, by the way.

After 60 minutes, you’ll start to have a sugar crash.

Source: Parenting Tips 365

A little Fiber makes a Big Difference

One analysis of 67 different studies concluded that for every gram of soluble fiber you add to your diet, you can expect a decrease in LDL (bad) cholesterol of 2.2 mg/dl (.05 mmol/l).

Source: Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal, Reader's Digest

Carrots - cooked or raw?

Naturally sweet, carrots make an ideal high-fiber, low-calorie snack food. Interestingly, cooking actually increases carrots' nutritional value, becuase it breaks down the tough cellular walls that encase the beta carotene.

To properly absorb beta carotene, the body needs a small amount of fat, because carotenoids are fat, not water soluble. Adding a pat of butter or margarine to cooked carrots ensures that the body will fully utilize this nutrient.

Source: Foods that Harm, Foods that Heal, Reader's Digest

Foods that battle against Alzheimer's

Researchers are finding many links between diet and dementia, and there is evidence that some foods are powerful allies in the battle against Alzheimer's.

Fish, especially oily fish like salmon, mackerel, herring, and sardines, are rich in omega-3 fatty acids and should be eaten at least 3x/week. Researchers at Chicago's St. Luke's Medical Center found that people 65 and older who had fish once a week had a 60% lower risk of Alzheimer's than those who did not eat fish. (My sisters: Take note!)

Eggs are a good dietary source of choline - a component of lecithin. They are also a good source of iron, vitamin B12 and other B vitamins, an excellent source of protein, and very easy to eat and digest.

Wheat germ and whole grains high in lecithin and choline, carbohydrate, vitamin E, B vitamins and numerous mineral help forestall Alzheimer's. Whole-grain breads are a popular and readily available item to add to anyone's diet.
Soy products are rich in choline and provide protein, carbohydrate, calcium and fiber. They are a good source of folic acid - also known as folate - and are known to lower blood levels of homocysteine.
Source: Foods that Heal, Foods that Harm, Reader's Digest