How to Spice Up Grilling AND Make it Healthier: Even Red Meat!

May 10, 2010

The conventional nutritional dogma in the United States says you should limit the amount of meat you eat, especially red meat, because of its potential to harm your health.

Well, one of the reasons why eating meat is linked to heart disease and cancer often has little to do with the meat itself, and everything to do with how it’s cooked.

Any time you cook meat at high temperatures, whether you’re grilling, frying, broiling, etc., some pretty nasty chemicals are created:

  • Heterocyclic Amines (HCAs): These form when food is cooked at high temperatures, and they’re linked to cancer. In terms of HCA, the worst part of the meat is the blackened section, which is why you should always avoid charring your meat, and never eat blackened sections.
  • Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): When fat drips onto the heat source, causing excess smoke, and the smoke surrounds your food, it can transfer cancer-causing PAHs to the meat.
  • Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures (including when it is pasteurized or sterilized), it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. When you eat the food, it transfers the AGEs into your body. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.

It’s a given that eating meat, or any food, that contains these chemicals is not healthy. But what researchers are now uncovering is that adding spices and marinades to your meat before cooking can drastically cut down on the level of harmful substances created.

Before You Grill Another Burger or Cook Another Steak …

Get out your arsenal of spices and mix up a blend to use on beef, one for chicken and another for lamb or any other type of meat you cook on a regular basis.

In the latest study, adding a spice blend to burgers reduced the level of malondialdehyde, a chemical marker for oxidation, in the meat by 71 percent and levels in participants’ urine by 49 percent.

This benefit likely comes from spices’ potent antioxidant content. On a per gram fresh weight basis, oregano and other herbs rank even higher in antioxidant activity than fruits and vegetables, which are known to be high in antioxidants too.

You can experiment with a range of spices, as each will have a unique set of health benefits to offer, but even the popular stand-bys will help to boost the medicinal value of your meal. For instance, for the above study researchers used a blend of:

  • Cloves
  • Cinnamon
  • Oregano
  • Rosemary
  • Ginger
  • Black pepper
  • Paprika
  • Garlic powder

You can use the spices as a dry rub or mix them up into a healthy marinade. Choose those that appeal most to you flavor-wise, or alternatively you can choose them according to their health benefits too.

What Else Can Cut Down on Cooking Toxins?

I would recommend, if you’re going to cook your meat, that you combine it with spices every time to help reduce the health-harming substances that will inevitably be created. There are other tips, too, that keep cooked meat as healthy as possible, including:

  • You can reduce the amount of PAHs when you grill by not cooking fatty meats, and by trimming the fat off before you grill.
  • When grilling, cook your food with indirect heat, such as on a rack rather than directly on the coals. Cooking on a cedar plank is also helpful.
  • Always avoid charring your meat (and don’t eat the black or brown parts).
  • Cook meat partially before putting it on the grill, or cook smaller pieces of meat, which take less time to cook, and therefore give HCAs less time to form.
  • You can reduce the amount of AGEs in your food by using an acidic marinade that contains lemon juice or vinegar.
  • Marinating meats before grilling or broiling them can reduce HCAs (according to some experts by 90 percent or more). However, only use natural ingredients for marinades, and keep the coating thin to avoid charring.
  • Flip your burgers often, as this will help cut down on HCAs.
  • Add blueberries or cherries to your burgers, as they can also help prevent the formation of HCAs.

And for those of you who want to kick the health quotient of your meal up even further, I’d recommend forgoing the cooking stage altogether.

A Healthier Way to Eat Your Meat

I realize that asking most Americans to give up hot dogs, hamburgers, barbequed chicken and even grilled fish is almost sacrilegious. And really I’d rather see more Americans staying home to cook their own meals, even if it is on a grill, than going out for fast food or eating processed convenience foods.

So the first level would be to add homemade spice rubs, herb-enhanced marinades or even fresh blueberries to your meat prior to cooking it. This will impart some health benefits and also cut down on the harmful substances formed.

The next level, then, would be to use the same spice rubs and marinades, but eat the meat only lightly cooked or raw. Cooking reduces spices’ antioxidant levels by 45-70 percent, so not only will this result in higher levels of antioxidants, but also lower levels of toxins.

Meat products from animals raised outside in the sun are also rich in biophotons, which contain bio-information that controls complex vital processes in your body. The biophotons have the power to elevate your physical body to a higher oscillation or order, and this is manifested as a feeling of vitality and well-being. Cooking your food destroys these important biophotons, while creating toxic substances.

The Raw Option

I believe that most of the negative health associations of eating meat is related to the fact that the meat is cooked. Just as cooked vegetables are not as healthy as uncooked ones, meat undergoes damage when heated. Even if it isn’t heated over a barbecue, when you heat it over 170 degrees you will cause damage to the proteins similar to that occurs when milk is pasteurized.

You can easily avoid all these problems by eating your meat uncooked. The problem with doing that in our current culture is that most meat is raised under factory farming conditions. The animals are very unhealthy and likely to harbor infections that can harm you.

However, if you can find humanely raised organic meat, then that risk is virtually eliminated.

Again, in order for meat to be its healthiest, it should be organic and grass-fed, and it should be eaten raw or cooked as little as possible. If you like, you can quickly sear the meat on both sides, leaving the inside mostly raw. This gives the illusion that you’re eating cooked meat, with many of the benefits of raw.

So I would strongly encourage you to experiment with integrating this into your lifestyle. Many people have no problems eating sushi or steak tartar, so it is not such a big leap as you might think.

Spices are Great for All Your Meals

You needn’t limit spices in your diet to just burgers. Herbs and spices are at the top of the list of high ORAC value foods on planet Earth. ORAC is a standardized method of measuring the antioxidant capacity of different foods and supplements. The higher the ORAC score, the more effective a food is at neutralizing free radicals. The less free radicals you have, the healthier you will be.

So be adventurous in adding spices to all your meals, and be generous in the amounts you use. It will be worth it for the flavor enhancement alone, and the boost it will give your health is the icing on the cake!

Original Posting: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2010/05/08/adding-spices-to-meat-helps-decrease-damage-when-you-cook-it.aspx


Baby Slings can and HAVE caused infant deaths! RECALL

March 24, 2010

The U.S. government is preparing a safety warning about baby slings — popular infant carriers that parents can sling around their chests to carry their baby. The concern is that infants can suffocate, and a few have.  Consumer Product Safety Commission Chairman Inez Tenenbaum says her agency is getting ready to issue a general warning to the public. Safety advocates have cautioned that some slings, where the baby falls into a curved or “C-like” position inside the sling, can lead to suffocation by restricting the baby’s breathing.

Also, Infantino LLC is recalling more than 1 million baby slings after three infant deaths were reported, the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission said Wednesday.The CPSC said consumers should immediately stop using the slings for children younger than four months due to suffocation risks. Since 2009, the CPSC received reports of three deaths due to the slings, of infants aged 7 weeks, 6 days and 3 months. Infantino sold the slings in the United States and Canada from January 2003 through March 2010 at stores including Wal-Mart, Burlington Coat Factory, Target, Babies “R” Us and online at Amazon.com for between $25 and $30. The CPSC said Infantino is offering free replacement products for the company’s SlingRider and Wendy Bellissimo baby slings, which are carriers with padded shoulder straps worn by parents to carry children weighing up to 20 pounds.

Consumers can contact Infantino toll-free at (866) 860-1361 between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. ET Monday through Friday, or visit the firm’s Web site at http://www.infantino.com to receive a free replacement product. Consumers may choose between a Wrap & Tie carrier, a 2 in 1 Shopping Cart Cover or a 3 in 1 Grow & Play Activity Gym.

Original postings:

http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/vitalvotes/archive/2010/03/11/beware-of-baby-slings.aspx

http://money.cnn.com/2010/03/24/news/companies/infantino_recall/index.htm?hpt=T2


MSG: Is This Silent Killer Lurking in Your Kitchen Cabinets

March 23, 2010

A widespread and silent killer that’s worse for your health than alcohol, nicotine and many drugs is likely lurking in your kitchen cabinets right now. “It” is monosodium glutamate (MSG), a flavor enhancer that’s known widely as an addition to Chinese food, but that’s actually added to thousands of the foods you and your family regularly eat, especially if you are like most Americans and eat the majority of your food as processed foods or in restaurants.

MSG is one of the worst  food additives on the market and is used in canned soups, crackers, meats, salad dressings, frozen dinners and  much more. It’s found in your local supermarket and restaurants, in your child’s school cafeteria and, amazingly, even in baby food and infant formula.

MSG is more than just a seasoning like salt and pepper, it actually enhances the flavor of foods, making processed meats and frozen dinners taste fresher and smell better, salad dressings more tasty, and canned foods less tinny.

While MSG’s benefits to the food industry are quite clear, this food additive could be slowly and silently doing major damage to your health.

What Exactly is MSG?

You may remember when the MSG powder called “Accent” first hit the U.S. market. Well, it was many decades prior to this, in 1908, that monosodium glutamate was invented. The inventor was Kikunae Ikeda, a Japanese man who identified the natural flavor enhancing substance of seaweed.

Taking a hint from this substance, they were able to create the man-made additive MSG, and he and a partner went on to form Ajinomoto, which is now the world’s largest producer of MSG (and interestingly also a drug manufacturer).

Chemically speaking, MSG is approximately 78 percent free glutamic acid, 21 percent sodium, and up to 1 percent contaminants.

It’s a misconception that MSG is a flavor or “meat tenderizer.” In reality, MSG has very little taste at all, yet when you eat MSG, you think the food you’re eating has more protein and tastes better. It does this by tricking your tongue, using a little-known fifth basic taste: umami.

Umami is the taste of glutamate, which is a savory flavor found in many Japanese foods, bacon and also in the toxic food additive MSG. It is because of umami that foods with MSG taste heartier, more robust and generally better to a lot of people than foods without it.

The ingredient didn’t become widespread in the United States until after World War II, when the U.S. military realized Japanese rations were much tastier than the U.S. versions because of MSG.

In 1959, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration labeled MSG as “Generally Recognized as Safe” (GRAS), and it has remained that way ever since. Yet, it was a telling sign when just 10 years later a condition known as “Chinese Restaurant Syndrome” entered the medical literature, describing the numerous side effects, from numbness to heart palpitations, that people experienced after eating MSG.

Today that syndrome is more appropriately called “MSG Symptom Complex,” which the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) identifies as “short-term reactions” to MSG. More on those “reactions” to come.

Why MSG is so Dangerous

One of the best overviews of the very real dangers of MSG comes from Dr. Russell Blaylock, a board-certified neurosurgeon and author of “Excitotoxins: The Taste that Kills.” In it he explains that MSG is an excitotoxin, which means it overexcites your cells to the point of damage or death, causing brain damage to varying degrees — and potentially even triggering or worsening learning disabilities, Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, Lou Gehrig’s disease and more.

Part of the problem also is that free glutamic acid is the same neurotransmitter that your brain, nervous system, eyes, pancreas and other organs use to initiate certain processes in your body. Even the FDA states:

“Studies have shown that the body uses glutamate, an amino acid, as a nerve impulse transmitter in the brain and that there are glutamate-responsive tissues in other parts of the body, as well.

Abnormal function of glutamate receptors has been linked with certain neurological diseases, such as Alzheimer’s disease and Huntington’s chorea. Injections of glutamate in laboratory animals have resulted in damage to nerve cells in the brain.”

Although the FDA continues to claim that consuming MSG in food does not cause these ill effects, many other experts say otherwise.

According to Dr. Blaylock, numerous glutamate receptors have been found both within your heart’s electrical conduction system and the heart muscle itself. This can be damaging to your heart, and may even explain the sudden deaths sometimes seen among young athletes.

He says:

“When an excess of food-borne excitotoxins, such as MSG, hydrolyzed protein soy protein isolate and concentrate, natural flavoring, sodium caseinate and aspartate from aspartame, are consumed, these glutamate receptors are over-stimulated, producing cardiac arrhythmias.

When magnesium stores are low, as we see in athletes, the glutamate receptors are so sensitive that even low levels of these excitotoxins can result in cardiac arrhythmias and death.”

Many other adverse effects have also been linked to regular consumption of MSG, including:

  • Obesity
  • Eye damage
  • Headaches
  • Fatigue and disorientation
  • Depression

Further, even the FDA admits that “short-term reactions” known as MSG Symptom Complex can occur in certain groups of people, namely those who have eaten “large doses” of MSG or those who have asthma.

According to the FDA, MSG Symptom Complex can involve symptoms such as:

  • Numbness
  • Burning sensation
  • Tingling
  • Facial pressure or tightness
  • Chest pain or difficulty breathing
  • Headache
  • Nausea
  • Rapid heartbeat
  • Drowsiness
  • Weakness

No one knows for sure just how many people may be “sensitive” to MSG, but studies from the 1970s suggested that 25 percent to 30 percent of the U.S. population was intolerant of MSG — at levels then found in food. Since the use of MSG has expanded dramatically since that time, it’s been estimated that up to 40 percent of the population may be impacted.

How to Determine if MSG is in Your Food

Food manufacturers are not stupid, and they’ve caught on to the fact that people like you want to avoid eating this nasty food additive. As a result, do you think they responded by removing MSG from their products? Well, a few may have, but most of them just tried to “clean” their labels. In other words, they tried to hide the fact that MSG is an ingredient.

How do they do this? By using names that you would never associate with MSG.

You see, it’s required by the FDA that food manufacturers list the ingredient “monosodium glutamate” on food labels, but they do not have to label ingredients that contain free glutamic acid, even though it’s the main component of MSG.

There are over 40 labeled ingredients that contain glutamic acid, but you’d never know it just from their names alone. Further, in some foods glutamic acid is formed during processing and, again, food labels give you no way of knowing for sure.

Tips for Keeping MSG Out of Your Diet

In general, if a food is processed you can assume it contains MSG (or one of its pseudo-ingredients). So if you stick to a whole, fresh foods diet, you can pretty much guarantee that you’ll avoid this toxin.

The other place where you’ll need to watch out for MSG is in restaurants. You can ask your server which menu items are MSG-free, and request that no MSG be added to your meal, but of course the only place where you can be entirely sure of what’s added to your food is in your own kitchen.

To be on the safe side, you should also know what ingredients to watch out for on packaged foods. Here is a list of ingredients thatALWAYS contain MSG:

Autolyzed Yeast Calcium Caseinate Gelatin
Glutamate Glutamic Acid Hydrolyzed Protein
Monopotassium Glutamate Monosodium Glutamate Sodium Caseinate
Textured Protein Yeast Extract Yeast Food
Yeast Nutrient

These ingredients OFTEN contain MSG or create MSG during processing:

Flavors and Flavorings Seasonings Natural Flavors and Flavorings Natural Pork Flavoring Natural Beef Flavoring
Natural Chicken Flavoring Soy Sauce Soy Protein Isolate Soy Protein Bouillon
Stock Broth Malt Extract Malt Flavoring Barley Malt
Anything Enzyme Modified Carrageenan Maltodextrin Pectin Enzymes
Protease Corn Starch Citric Acid Powdered Milk Anything Protein Fortified
Anything Ultra-Pasteurized

So if you do eat processed foods, please remember to be on the lookout for these many hidden names for MSG.

Choosing to be MSG-Free

Making a decision to avoid MSG in your diet as much as possible is a wise choice for nearly everyone. Admittedly, it does take a bit more planning and time in the kitchen to prepare food at home, using fresh, locally grown ingredients. But knowing that your food is pure and free of toxic additives like MSG will make it well worth it.

Plus, choosing whole foods will ultimately give you better flavor and more health value than any MSG-laden processed food you could buy at your supermarket.

Original link: http://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2009/04/21/MSG-Is-This-Silent-Killer-Lurking-in-Your-Kitchen-Cabinets.aspx


How to Prevent Lower Back Pain

March 20, 2010
Back pain affects about 8 out of 10 people. But there are many steps you can take to avoid it. One of the best things you can do to prevent back pain is to exercise regularly and keep your back and abdominal muscles strong.
Here are some quick pointers to prevent back problems:
  • Always stretch before any strenuous physical activity
  • Don’t slouch when standing or sitting
  • Sit in chairs or car seats with good lumbar support
  • Switch sitting positions often and periodically walk around or gently stretch muscles to relieve tension
  • Don’t bend over without supporting your back
  • Wear comfortable, low-heeled shoes
  • Sleep on your side to reduce any curve in your spine, and always sleep on a firm surface
  • Lift with your legs, keeping your back straight
  • Try to control your weight
  • If you smoke, quit; smoking reduces blood flow to the lower spine and causes the spinal discs to degenerate
  • Also, to keep your spine strong, as with all bones, you need to get enough vitamin D every day.

Original Posting:

http://blogs.mercola.com/sites/vitalvotes/archive/2010/03/18/how-to-prevent-lower-back-pain.aspx

…and of course, getting regular adjustments from your favorite chiropractor! 🙂


Welcome to the Back to Health Chiropractic Blog

February 26, 2010

850 McKay Ct

Boardman, OH 44512

330-726-6339

http://www.clauttichiropractic.com