Friday, April 17, 2015

Unhealthiest Seafood

Seafood is often considered a healthy alternative to other forms of animal protein. However, due to deteriorating environmental conditions, some seafood is becoming unhealthy to consume. Seafood is also often prepared in ways that can negate the health benefits: slathered in cream sauce, breaded and deep-fried. These cooking methods can add to the already high cholesterol levels that many types of seafood contain.
We did some research and found the five unhealthiest seafood you should be aware of.

Farm-raised salmon
Knowing the origin of the salmon on your plate is very important. Farmed salmon has been known to have high levels of contamination. Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) are used in transformers and other electrical equipment as lubricants and coolants, and farmed salmon absorb PCBs from their feed. They also often contain high levels of pesticides. Unfortunately for you and the salmon, they contain 3 ½ times the levels of PCBs than other seafood. Not to mention because farmed salmon are raised in cramped cages, they are fatter than wild salmon. That means more PCBs and pesticides are stored in their fat for longer periods of time. That's a tough first entry on our list of the five unhealthiest seafood.

Clam chowder
This thick, creamy, stick-to-your-bones chowder sticks to you bones for a reason. It’s chock-full of clams, heavy cream, bacon, and butter. Somerecipes also include milk and whipping cream, which only ups the fat content. On average, an eight-ounce serving of clam chowder contains 299 calories, 100 of which are from fat; that means roughly 43% of the calories are fat calories. Out of those fat calories, 35% are the artery-clogging saturated kind. That same serving also contains 910 mg of sodium and 13% of your daily dose of cholesterol (based on a 2,000 calorie diet). This entry might better for a five unhealthiest seafood recipes, but, nonetheless, it's here and for good reason.

Raw oysters
Yes, oysters do have high levels of zinc, which is necessary for a healthyprostate, but with increasing levels of sea pollution, the bad outweighs the good. Oysters serve as one of the primary filters for their habitats. So, for those of you who love to shuck and slurp, you are ingesting high levels of toxins that the oyster absorbed. Raw oysters are also high in purines (organic compounds also found in other filter organs like kidney and liver) and can increase a man’s risk of developing gout. Cooked oysters are a safer alternative if you're looking to avoid the five unhealthiest seafood.
Find more examples of the unhealthiest seafood after the jump...

Shrimp is the most widely consumed seafood. Although it is a good source of protein and low in fat, imported shrimp can pose a health risk due to unsanitary farming in parts of the world where health and safety regulations are loose. Salmonella is found in many processed shrimp products that are advertised as “ready-to-eat.” Large amounts of antibiotics and chemicals are also sometimes used in farmed shrimp. For example, pesticides such as endosulfan that can cause neurological damage can make  their way into shrimp farming operations. Moreover, the antibiotics used on farmed shrimp can lead to resistant strains of E. coli that can infect consumers or cause allergic reactions. Wild-caught shrimp can be a safer alternative to imported farmed shrimp.

There’s unhealthy seafood and then there’s downright dangerous seafood. Fugu (blow fish or puffer fish) is often consumed at special feasts because it’s considered a delicacy in Japan, one that kills approximately 100 diners a year. What makes fugu so dangerous is that it contains deadly poison in its organs. If not properly cleaned and prepared, that poison can kill anyone who ingests it. For that reason, only licensed cooks are allowed to prepare fugu in Japan. However, prepared fugu can be found in grocery stores and online. And recently there have been advances in fugu farming and research that have lead to non-poisonous varieties.

it's hard out there for a shrimp

It has often been said that seafood is a great addition to your diet forweight loss or just for health. But certain seafood can be unhealthy due to its high saturated fat, high cholesterol and sodium levels, toxins, pesticides and chemicals or just natural poisons. Choose wisely when you shop for seafood, looking for wild-caught or sustainably harvested fish when possible.

Breakfast Foods To Avoid

Are you struggling to keep your energy up throughout the day? Or do you usually have a mid-afternoon crash and don’t understand why? This could be due to a hurried or botched breakfast. I’ve found that with a few tweaks to that first meal of the day, you can feel good all day. Here’s what to avoid:

1. Bad Coffee
Coffee has both fueled my entrepreneurial ventures and constantly led to crashes and prolonged fatigue. After experiencing many of these ups and downs, I decided to dig into the biochemistry of coffee and the agricultural and economic research. I discovered that all coffee is not the same, and that coffee often carries naturally occurring mold toxins. It turned out that my bad reactions had nothing to do with the coffee; it was a reaction to the mold on the coffee.
Now, you won’t see this mold — it’s an invisible byproduct of shortcuts coffee producers take. One study showed that over ninety percent of green coffee beans were contaminated with mold before processing, while another revealed that almost fifty percent of brewed coffees are moldy. When you brew or buy that first cup in the morning, avoid cheaper types of coffee. These cost less because they not only use lower-quality beans but also include a higher percentage of damaged (moldy) beans. And avoid decaf coffee, which contains more mold on average than caffeinated, partly because coffee people cringe at the thought of ruining high quality beans with decaf processing and therefore use lower quality beans to make decaf.

2. Milk, Yogurt, and Cheese, But Not Butter
The main problem with dairy is the harmful process of pasteurization. While this process does reduce the small risk of milk contamination, it kills off the beneficial probiotics in the milk, denatures milk proteins, and transforms milk from a source of nutrition into a source of many health problems. Pasteurization also turns milk’s lactose sugars into beta-lactose sugars that the body absorbs faster, causing blood sugar spikes.
In the morning, you should avoid milk and most things made from milk — cheese, yogurt, cream, buttermilk, and ice cream — but not butter. Butter is significantly healthier than the milk it is made from because the harmful milk proteins (including casein and BCM-7) are largely absent from butter. What little milk protein remains in cultured butter has been enzymatically modified during the butter fermentation process and isn’t a problem for most people.

3. Sugar, Including Fruit
Your body needs more sodium than potassium in the morning so your blood pressure can go up, but eating fruit (which has a lot of potassium) for breakfast causes your blood pressure to go down. Low blood pressure in the morning makes it harder to feel energized and ready to face the day. Most people are familiar with the term “sugar crash,” but many don’t know where this term comes from. After you eat sugar, it’s not only your focus and energy that crashes, but also your actual blood sugar levels, too. When you eat sugar, blood sugars naturally rise, causing the pancreas to secrete insulin. But the pancreas isn’t great at estimating how much insulin to release and usually overdoes it, secreting large amounts of insulin that cause your blood sugar to drop dramatically. This is the famous crash that causes brain fog, sluggishness, and food cravings. Eliminating sugar is one of the very best things you can do for your health, weight, and overall performance.

4. All Grains
Gluten-containing grains are actually addictive. They break down in the gut into opioid compounds called gluteomorphins that trigger the same receptors in your brain as other opiate drugs like heroin. If you allow your brain to get “addicted” to the opiates formed by grain digestion, you’re going to experience insatiable hunger and cravings that last for days after you last ate those grains.

There is plenty of research to show that eating gluten also has negative health consequences. It causes inflammation and gastrointestinal distress and contributes to autoimmune diseases and a host of other issues. The trick is to give it up completely. The gluten breakfast foods to avoid include cereal, toast, pancakes, and granola bars. This will dramatically increase your ability to live up to your full potential and you’ll undoubtedly feel an immediate difference in your body and your brain.

So What Can You Eat Instead?
The Bulletproof Diet is never about deprivation. It’s about consuming the right foods and fats so your body can function at its optimal level. We’ve grown afraid of eating fat because we believe it will make us fat and sick. As I was testing the Bulletproof Diet, I started eating between 4,000 and 4,500 calories each day and about 70% of those calories came from Bulletproof fats.
According to most nutritionists, I should have gained a dozen pounds in a month eating this way. Instead, the opposite happened. My brain worked effortlessly, I didn’t need more sleep, and I even grew a six-pack. Below are some suggestions taken from the Bulletproof Diet book for what you SHOULD eat in the morning to jump start your day.

1. Bullet Proof Coffee
A blend of premium coffee and grass-fed butter that will leave you feeling full and energized throughout your day. The trick is to use unsalted butter from grass fed cows. If you’re lucky, you can get it from a local farmer, but for the rest of us, Kerrygold Irish Butter (in the US and EU) and Anchor New Zealand Butter (in much of Asia and Australia) fits the bill.

2. Steak and Eggs
A classic breakfast to kick start your day. Use grass-fed beef and pastured eggs.

3. Sweet Potatoes
Cut up and baked into a hash, sweet potatoes are a delicious way to squash your hunger and avoid the “sugar crash” you get from consuming fruit first thing in the morning.

4. Avocados and Smoked Sockeye Salmon
Drizzle with coconut oil for an added brain boost.

Coffee consumption linked with reduced melanoma risk

Many of us turn to coffee for a morning boost, and now, a new study offers another excuse to drink the stimulating beverage; it could reduce the risk of melanoma skin cancer by a fifth.
A cup of coffee and coffee beans
Could drinking four cups of coffee a day help keep melanoma away? A new study suggests so.
The study, conducted by researchers from the National Cancer Institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and Yale School of Public Health at Yale University in New Haven, CT, is published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.
The US is certainly a nation of coffeedrinkers; more than half of us drink an average of 3.1 cups of it every day. And with the health benefits the beverage has been associated with in the past, it is no wonder.
Last year, Medical News Todayreported on studies associated coffee consumption with reduced risk of death from liver cirrhosislower risk of type 2 diabetes and a reduced risk of tinnitus, among other health benefits.
In this latest study, Erikka Loftfield, of the Division of Cancer Epidemiology and Genetics at the National Cancer Institute, and colleagues set out to determine how coffee consumption affects the risk of melanoma - the deadliest form of skin cancer.
According to the researchers, past studies have suggested that coffee consumption may protect against non-melanoma skin cancers, but it was unclear how such consumption affects melanoma skin cancers.

The more coffee consumed, the lower the risk of melanoma

To find out, the team assessed data from the NIH-AARP Diet and Health Study, involving 447,357 non-Hispanic white participants who were free of cancer at study baseline.
The participants completed a food frequency questionnaire at the beginning of the study - which detailed their coffee intake - and incidence of melanoma among subjects was monitored over an average of 10.5 years. During this time, 2,905 participants developed melanoma.
The researchers found that the more coffee participants consumed each day, the less likely they were to develop melanoma during the follow-up period. Drinking four cups of coffee a day, for example, was associated with a 20% lower risk of melanoma, the team reports.
These results remained even after accounting for participants' age, sex, body mass index (BMI), alcohol intake, smoking history and ultraviolet (UV) radiation exposure - a primary risk factor for skin cancer.
The team notes the association was only found among participants who consumed caffeinated coffee, not decaffeinated. In addition, coffee only appeared to reduce the risk of malignant melanoma, not melanoma in situ - in which melanoma cells have not spread beyond the outer cells of the skin.
Commenting on their findings, the researchers say:
"Higher coffee intake was associated with a modest decrease in risk of melanoma in this large US cohort study. Additional investigations of coffee intake and its constituents, particularly caffeine, with melanoma are warranted."
The team believes this "modest" reduction in melanoma risk from coffee consumption, however, may have big effects. "Because of its high disease burden, lifestyle modifications with even modest protective effects may have a meaningful impact on melanoma morbidity," they add.
Talking to MNT, Loftfield said their findings do not indicate that individuals should increase their coffee intake to reduce the risk of skin cancer. "The most important thing that individuals can do to reduce their risk of melanoma is to reduce sun and UV radiation exposure," she added.
While many studies have documented the positive health effects of coffee consumption, it is important to note the potential harms. The main ingredient in coffee is caffeine, a known stimulant. But consuming too much caffeine may lead to insomnia, nervousness, irritability, restlessness, fast heartbeat, muscle tremors and stomach upset.
In 2013, MNT reported on a study published in the journal Mayo Clinic Proceedings, in which researchers claim drinking four cups of coffee a day may raise the risk of premature death. Another study found that consuming just two cups of coffee a day could lead to urinary incontinence in men.
Our Knowledge Center article - "What are the health benefits of coffee?" - looks at some of the other ways in which the beverage can be good or bad for us.
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