Viewing entries tagged
cancer

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Why I'm Still Eating Meat

The latest hot topic in the news is about meat consumption being linked to an increase risk of developing colorectal cancer.  If you would've asked me a few years ago, I probably would have agreed with that.  I became a pescatarian a few years ago, and eliminated all meat from my diet.  I thought I was doing the right thing for my health.  I was consuming large amounts of lentils, legumes and soy products to try to get enough protein in my diet.  But, after being diagnosed with an autoimmune condition, my diet had to change.  The amount of soy I was eating was actually making my condition worse, and the lentils/legumes were making my already weakened and inflammed digestive system work even harder.  There is a huge difference in meat products out there.  "Eating clean" has become a popular phrase in the nutrition world.  Eating meat, and eating clean meat, are 2 different things.  Where your food comes from matters; buy cheap, get cheap.

  • The study wasn't performed specifically on humans, nor did it look at the consumption of vegetables with the protein.  It did not look at what people eat with their meat (is it french fries and soda, is it cheap bacon on an Egg McMuffin? Or vegetables and healthy carbs and fats?)
  • "the association of CRC risk with processed red meat may be stronger than that with fresh red meat" (Santarelli, et al., 2008)
  • The WHO (World Health Organization), released in a statement the other day that, "Processed meat refers to meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation" (AKA: adding unhealthy, unnatural flavors and chemicals to give "meat" a certain flavor.  This can mean adding gluten, loads of salt, sugar, high fructose corn syrup, nitrates, nitrites etc.)
  • Here's a link to a full text study that was used in the recent published statement from the WHO: Processed meat and colorectal cancer: a review of epidemiologic and experimental evidence

Previous news also stated: (which have been proven false):

  • to reduce your cholesterol intake and take a statin
  • choose low fat products (remember Snack Wells!?) (Low fat and low carb diets have been proven not to be effective long term)
  • don't eat egg yolks; reduce cholesterol
  • eat more whole grains; 6-11 servings per day of bread, cereal, pasta, rice (this is what the current food pyramid suggests!)

What's wrong with processed meats:

  • nitrates
  • curing
  • added sugar
  • smoked flavor
  • high temperature smoking techniques
  • nitrates/nitrites
  • soy/gluten/corn are often added to processed meats (those are bad!)
  • when you eat meat, you're more likely to eat cheese, french fries, drink beer/soda, and have no veggies included with your meal, and no, ketchup doesn't count as a vegetable

What I eat for protein:

  • Clean Meat!
  • uncured, no sugar added organic bacon
  • no nitrates or nitrites
  • organic hormone free chicken
  • organic grass fed beef
  • nothing with gluten/dairy/corn/soy
  • organic, cage free brown eggs
  • wild caught salmon/shrimp
  • a wide variety of vegetables, fruit, lactose free ghee, and healthy fats

I'm finally getting enough protein into my diet, I feel better, and my autoimmune condition is under control, with the food I eat.


What you choose to put into your body can have countless effects.  If you prefer to eat junk food and low nutritional value foods, you can expect some risks to come along with that type of lifestyle.  I choose to eat a relatively clean diet, as mentioned above.  My autoimmune condition is under control, I have tons of energy and am not on any medications.  Food can be used as medicine!  Always check the ingredients and make smart choices as much as possible.  Do your research and question where your food is coming from.

 

*Main image source: http://blogs.discovermagazine.com/d-brief/files/2015/01/shutterstock_151420331.jpg

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Sitting Sucks!

I'm often asked by patients about what they can do to prevent acute or chronic back pain.  Moving every day is vital! Not just rolling out of bed, sitting in your car while driving to work, sitting 8-10 hours at work, then sitting again on your commute home, and sitting on the couch to watch TV before bed.  As a nation in general, we sit too much, hence the new "sitting is the new smoking" campaign.  Sitting diseases are a real thing.  We just aren't moving enough anymore. There's even a #sittingisthenewsmoking hashtag!

Sitting diseases are shown to reduce your life expectancy.

What are sitting diseases:

  • Type 2 diabetes
  • Cardiovascular disease
  • Breast and colon cancers

You also have an increased risk of:

  • Forward head posture
  • Forward rounded shoulders
  • Hyperlordosis
  • Thoracic hyperkyphosis
  • Tight psoas = low back pain
  • Deconditioned core and spinal musculature

Your chances of developing a sitting disease increases the more sedentary you are.

For more information, check out this article I wrote titled, 'Standing up for your Health' in 2012.


<div xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" xmlns:dct="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" about="http://www.juststand.org/tabid/674/default.aspx"><span property="dct:title">Sitting Disease Infographic 1</span> (<a rel="cc:attributionURL" property="cc:attributionName" href="http://www.ergotron.com">Ergotron</a>) / <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/">CC BY 3.0</a></div>

<div xmlns:cc="http://creativecommons.org/ns#" xmlns:dct="http://purl.org/dc/terms/" about="http://www.juststand.org/tabid/674/default.aspx"><span property="dct:title">Sitting Disease Infographic 1</span> (<a rel="cc:attributionURL" property="cc:attributionName" href="http://www.ergotron.com">Ergotron</a>) / <a rel="license" href="http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/">CC BY 3.0</a></div>

What Can You Do?

1. Change your desk!

Alternatives to traditional desks:

  • Standing desks
  • Treadmill desks
  • Half kneeling at your desk

Benefits:

  • Improved posture
  • Improved blood flow
  • Possible increase in productivity and energy levels
  • Burn more calories

2. Bike/Walk to work if at all possible.  If not daily, then try a few days per week

3. Set a timer to get up every 30 minutes to stretch and move around.  Many new activity trackers will alert you when you've been inactive for a certain period of time.

4. Get up during commercials at home to do chores or perform squats, jumping jacks, etc.

Next blog topic will cover stretches and specific exercises to keep your spinal muscles and joints healthy!

*Main image source: http://www.precisionnutrition.com/sitting-standing-walking-work

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Breast Cancer Awareness

October is also known as 'Breast Cancer Awareness' month.  Numerous companies campaign with "pink" products and ribbons to help support breast cancer awareness and research towards a cure.  Do you see a product with a pink logo or ribbon on it and automatically assume that it supports breast cancer?  Did you know that many products that claim to "support" breast cancer research and awareness, may actually increase your chances of developing cancer?

Such examples of products include:

  • energy drinks (that contain "natural and artificial flavors")
  • plastic polycarbonate water bottles containing bisphenol-A, more commonly known as BPA
  • cosmetics/perfumes (Red #5, violet #2, yellow #5, benzyl benzoate, etc.)
  • cleaning products
  • air fresheners
  • Yogurt 'Friends in the Fight' campaign (contains high amounts of sugar, modified corn starch, "natural flavor",  blue #1, yellow #5, etc.

*These items may not necessarily have any randomized control studies proving there is a 100% cause and effect relationship.  We do know that toxins in our food and environment may correlate with increased risks of developing cancer.  We also know that these synthetic chemicals added to our food provide no nutritional value, and increase the toxic load in our bodies.

(The U.K has banned food dyes and performed a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study regarding behavioral disorders and Yellow #5 and #6.)

Many companies know that by putting a pink ribbon on their products, it will sell more products, as consumers automatically associate it with donations for breast cancer awareness/research.  But, how much of your purchase is actually donated?  Some companies may not donate any of their sales to the Susan G. Komen fund, despite the pink ribbon on their products.

Be sure to research companies before purchasing their product.  Consider making a donation directly to cancer research in the future, if you're unsure of the product safety.

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