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Editor, The Konformist
December 6 2007
Is The Standard American Diet (SAD) Bad For Your Health?
by S.A Ramratan
(NewsTarget) Extreme is a good way to describe the diet that most
people in America subsist on. Many people wouldn't look at the
standard American diet, and call it extreme; many would just call it
normal. But if you look at the diet close-up, we can see that it is
pretty extreme, and certainly not healthy.
The Standard American Diet usually consists of a myriad of processed
carbs (cereals, breads, pasta, cookies, cakes etc.), processed meat
products, and a few fruits and veggies. What you eat is the
foundation of your health so what is in this diet?
This diet is high in many things, most of which your body doesn't
really need. It is full of hydrogenated oil, high fructose corn
syrup, phytic acid, acrylamide, sodium nitrate, monosodium glutamate
(MSG) and lacking in basic essentials such as vitamins, minerals.
Hydrogenated oil causes a host of problems. It contributes to
cancer, heart disease and obesity. A recent study showed that monkey
fed these oils gained a significant amount of fat around the
abdomen, even though they were not fed in such excess as to warrant
fat gain. This is bad! Fat gain without consuming extra calories,
and around the worst place on the body to gain it too, is one of the
worst things for your health. We also know that trans fat boosts
women's infertility by 70%, if you consume it for 2% of your total
calories. For someone on a 2000 calories a day diet, that is only
about 4 grams of fat. And 4 grams of fat is not a lot! You could get
that much in one donut, or a small serving of fries.
High fructose corn syrup raises blood sugar levels quickly. There
are links to the consumption of high fructose corn syrup to type II
diabetes and heart disease. It provides no nutritional value, and is
the ubiquitous sweetener for foods that are known as "empty
Phytic acid has been proven to be an "anti-nutrient." It is in all
grains, nuts and seeds that have not been soaked and dried first. If
you are eating boxes of food that are grain based, not only are you
eating something that has no nutrition, you are also eating
something that will readily take nutrients from you.
If you eat anything with carbohydrates heated to a high temperature,
you are eating acrylamide. The United States Environmental
Protection Agency has stated that possible short-term effects of
ingesting acrylamide are damage to the nervous system, weakness and
incoordination in the legs. The possible long-term effects are
damage to the nervous system, paralysis, and cancer. Acrylamide in
fried or baked goods is produced by the reaction between asparagine
and reducing sugars or reactive carbonyls. Browning during baking,
frying or deep-frying or over-cooking of foods will produce
acrylamides. Acrylamides can also be created during microwaving.
Sodium Nitrate NaNO2
Consumption of processed meats has been linked to cancer (colon,
breast, prostate and pancreas). The Material Safety Data Sheet
(MSDS) for sodium nitrate states that ingestion in the pure form
could cause gastroenteritis and abdominal pains. Other symptoms may
include dizziness, bloody diarrhea, convulsions, and collapse; and
chronic exposure can cause methemoglobinemia. This happens in some
individuals when bacteria in the stomach convert the nitrate to
nitrite. Nausea, vomiting, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, irregular
breathing, convulsions, coma, and death can occur should this
conversion take place. If you truly don't want to give up your
bacon, salami or whatever there is a way to fight the harm that
sodium nitrate can inflict on your body. You have to consume large
doses of vitamins C and E before you eat something with sodium
nitrate in it. These wonderful vitamins inhibit the conversion of
sodium nitrate to the carcinogenic form, nitrosamines.
Monosodium Glutamate (MSG) is in a class of chemicals known as
excitotoxins. Excitotoxins, like MSG, introduced to the body in high
doses have been shown in animal studies to cause damage to areas of
the brain unprotected by the blood-brain barrier. A variety of
chronic diseases can arise out of this neurotoxicity. In other
animal research, MSG has been shown to indirectly cause obesity.
According to laboratory studies, the chemical does this by
downregulating hypothalamic appetite suppression which increases the
amount of food animals consume. This is another universal ingredient
and can be found under names such as hydrolyzed yeast, torula yeast
and autolyzed yeast.
Unfortunately, the Standard American Diet is full of packaged foods.
Most packaged foods have virtually no nutritional value! They are
pretty packages housing calories. If this is all you eat, then you
are on the fast track to being overfed, and under nourished. I know
that we are told that we should be eating lots of grain products.
Eat up. But a diet recommendation like that is ignoring the true
science out there telling us that insulin spikes, phytic acid,
acrylamide and the negative immune system responses we get from
eating cooked food doesn't mean a thing. We don't fully understand
what happens in the body with all these extras - the synergistic
effects are simply not known. Eating a diet rich in refined
carbohydrates and processed meat products is a sure fire way to walk
the path of disease.
There are real health advocates that teach the right way to eat.
Avoiding all those unwanted extras most people get by eating the
Standard American Diet takes a little drive but it is worth it.
Reduce or eliminate refined carbs and go for whole, sprouted grains
instead; and use them sparingly. Or replace those carbohydrates with
amaranth, buckwheat, millet or quinoa. Chose raw fats - found in
extra virgin olive oil, virgin coconut oil or the fats found in raw
avocados. The food you eat should be colourful and vibrant! Most
people do not get the recommended number of fruits and vegetables in
their diet; don't be one of those people. Recent studies show that
if we eat broccoli and tomatoes together, the health benefits are
amplified. You get more results eating these foods together than if
you ate them in isolation so go for a lot of colour on your plate.
For a detailed look at what it truly takes to make a healthy diet
check out Mike Adams' Honest food guide. Leave "SAD" behind, and
build a foundation of health and happiness!
About the author
Sarah is a Chemical and Materials Engineer by education. Through
years of focused self-study, she has come to see the benefit of
whole food nutrition and allowing the body to heal itself. A Field
Center Certified Facilitator, Sarah is passionate about being
helpful to others, in any venue, in their quest for a better life.
December 9 2007
Tantra: An Ancient Spiritual Path For Self Healing
by Jivana Kennedy
(NewsTarget) Dr. Dean Ornish, a well respected pioneer in preventive
medicine, and author of the best selling book Love and Survival: The
Scientific Basis for the Healing Power of Intimacy says relative to
intimacy, "I am not aware of any other factor in medicine, not diet,
not smoking, not exercise, not stress, not genetics, not drugs, not
surgery, that has a greater impact on our quality of life, incidence
of illness and premature death from all causes".
A number of years ago, an amazing little photograph and story made
its way around the Internet. The picture showed two newborn infants
in a plastic Isolette. The arm of one of the little ones was wrapped
around the other. These two little babies were twins, born within
minutes of one another. One was thriving, the other was dying. The
doctors had tried everything they knew to do and yet the one baby
was failing. With all medical science exhausted, they put the ailing
twin in the isolette with its sibling and the infant made an almost
immediate turnaround and full recovery.
The ancient path of tantra was born out of a realization that when
we human beings join our energy together, we have access to a power
greater than the sum of our individual parts. Taking that concept
one step further, we have gained access to the creative force or
life force of the cosmos. The instinct towards the drive for close
physical connection is illustrated so beautifully in the story of
these just days old twins, these tiny womb-mates.
For many people in our modern society, the word tantra may bring up
notions of strange sexual rituals and of a culture that fell to its
demise through overindulgence in the physical senses. But in fact,
nothing could be further from the truth. The tantric path was a path
that encouraged balance, love and empowerment in every aspect of
life. And as a life affirmative path, it nourished a healthy, and
even sacred attitude towards sexuality, since sexuality IS the
source of all of our lives. Today, we are flooded with images of
sexuality everywhere we look. But is deep soul connected intimacy
really happening for many of us?
Let's take a look at a few of the diseases that are plaguing our
world today. Heart disease - is our physical heart connected to our
emotional heart? Might we as a culture be suffering from spiritual
and emotional heart disease as so many suffer from a profound sense
of isolation, unworthiness, and depression? How about breast cancer
and prostate cancer? In women the breasts are the positive pole, in
men the penis and related parts are the positive pole. Without the
cultivation of a healthy sexuality that sustains us throughout the
stages of our life, can humans survive and thrive as we were meant
to? How about digestion? Do the assaults to our emotions innervate
the natural vitality of our digestive systems?
My premise here is that what we most need is a return to the deeper
causes of our dis-ease and not more band-aid solutions. Does the
breakdown in our collective immune system correlate to the breakdown
and disappearance of a loving, connected and sharing culture?
The ancient path of tantra says that in deep connection with one
another, we discover the intrinsic unity of all life. And from this
discovery we naturally become passionate about life. And in this
ignited passion our deepest healing can be found; we don't merely
survive, we thrive.
After all, aren't we all womb-mates within this incredible womb of
About the author
"Make Love Not War"
There is a direct connection between sexuality and spirituality.
Both connect us deeply and powerfuly to our innermost selves,
and to the source of all creation.
December 9 2007
Markets for superfoods, exotic fruits to double by 2011
by David Gutierrez
(NewsTarget) The market in "super" foods and drinks is anticipated
to nearly double from its 2001 levels by the year 2011, according to
a report written by market analysis firm Datamonitor.
According to "Super Food and Drinks: Consumer Attitudes to Nutrient
Rich Products," demand for superfoods has surged as consumers have
become more concerned about nutrition. More than 50 percent of the
5413 U.S. and European consumers surveyed for the report said that
they took more active steps to improve their diets in 2006 compared
with previous years. The steps include eschewing foods that are high
in fat, salt and sugar, as well as actively seeking out those
perceived to be high in nutritive value. These include foods that
are fresh, organic and nutrient enriched.
In particular, demand for products containing certain "super"
ingredients, such as acai or goji berries, has skyrocketed. From
January 2005 to May 2007, the number of products incorporating
pomegranate as an ingredient increased by 500 percent compared with
the period between 1999 and 2004.
This is part of a wider market trend, which has seen sales of soy
products almost double in the United States while more than tripling
in Western Europe between 2001 and 2006, and sales of green tea
increased by more than 30 percent in the United States in the same
Datamonitor projects that the super foods market will grow from its
2001 levels of 5,872m ($8,013m) to 7,448m ($10,163m) by 2011.
The report also raises concerns with the growing market and offers
suggestions for producers. Among the concerns cited are the
ecological costs associated with shipping exotic ingredients from
distant places to U.S. or European markets. The report also warns
producers against marketing their products as a "magic bullet," and
instead encourages them to emphasize the products' role in a
healthy, balanced diet.
December 4 2007
Exclusive report on Camu Camu berries reveals astonishing health
benefits of this Amazon superfruit
by Mike Adams
(NewsTarget) Today we're publishing a new special report covering a
rising star in the world of superfruits: Camu Camu berries. Grown in
the rainforests of the Amazon, this amazing superfood contains the
highest natural vitamin C content of any plant in the world. This
special report by Mike Adams the Health Ranger reveals the origins
of camu camu, its many health benefits, and a trusted source for
acquiring this neuroprotective superfood.
The full report is available now at:
Inside, readers will learn:
Where camu camu comes from and how it's grown and harvested
Why camu camu offers the highest natural vitamin C density of any
plant in the world
How camu camu protects and defends the nervous system from
How Mike Adams personally uses camu camu powder to maximize mental
focus and cognitive performance
Why camu also protects the eyes from macular degeneration
How camu may help you prevent dementia and Alzheimer's disease
Camu camu's preventive effects vs. cancer and liver disease
How to prevent depression, infertility and migraine headaches with
Where to get high-grade camu camu berry powder
How to use camu camu powder to make an energizing drink or vitamin-
boosting superfood smoothie
Camu Camu is a top recommended superfruit by Dr. James Duke, PhD,
author of numerous books on botanical medicine (including The Green
Pharmacy). It has gained popularity among natural health enthusiasts
over the last several years, but supplies have been hard to come by,
causing prices to remain out of reach of most consumers.
But one company -- revealed in the special report -- embarked on an
eight-year program to plant a large supply of camu camu trees. Now
that effort has come to harvest, and full-spectrum camu camu powder
is available to consumers across North America and in selected other
countries. Details are provided in the special report at:
Camu Camu is native to the Amazon rainforest and has been used as
natural medicine by indigenous populations there for thousands of
December 7 2007
Low-glycemic diet found to prevent acne
by David Gutierrez
(NewsTarget) A diet with a low glycemic load may reduce the
occurrence of acne in men, according to a small study conducted by
researchers from the RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia and
reported in the Journal of the American Academy of Dermatology.
Researchers divided 43 men with acne into two groups. The men in one
group (high glycemic load) were encouraged to eat plenty of
carbohydrates; the men in the other group were told to replace the
high glycemic load foods in their diets with other foods that had a
lower glycemic load and more protein.
Glycemic load refers to the effect that a food has on a person's
blood sugar. High glycemic load foods cause blood sugar to spike,
while low glycemic load foods cause a more gradual, longer-lasting
increase. High glycemic load foods are those high in low-fiber
carbohydrates, such as refined sugars and grains. Low glycemic foods
include complex carbohydrates high in fiber.
After 12 weeks, the number of acne lesions among men in the low-
glycemic load group dropped by approximately 22. Among the men in
the high-glycemic load group, the number of acne lesions dropped by
"The results of this study open up the prospect that nutrition-
related lifestyle factors may affect the [development] of acne," the
In addition, levels of the male sex hormone androgen decreased and
insulin sensitivity increased more in the low glycemic load group
than in the high glycemic load group. Men eating the lower glycemic
diet also lost weight.
The researchers said that with the way the study was set up, it was
impossible to know what exactly led to the decrease in acne. The
weight loss or the improved insulin sensitivity -- or both -- are
the most likely, but "these results should be considered preliminary
and larger scale studies are needed to confirm the effect of dietary
intervention on acne."