Cindy Santa Ana of Northern Virginia grew up like a lot of kids in the 70s, eating canned Campbell’s soups and Pop Tarts and school lunches that resembled fast food more than they did home-cooked meals. She also had an affinity for popsicles and candy, which all snowballed into a pattern of unhealthy eating. The only commitments that kept her slim through high school were going without soda, dancing and staying active with social engagements.
Despite any unhealthy habits she developed early on in life, Cindy always had an interest in health and fitness and even majored in physical education and health in college. As a result she followed the nutrition advice she learned in the process, following the USDA recommendation of 6-11 servings of carbohydrates per day.
Items like breads, pasta and cereal filled her daily diet, but all along she thought that was a healthy choice.
“At one point in college I had 11 boxes of cereal in my dorm room,” Cindy recalled. “I was also eating everything fat free because the fat-free mantra was on.”
Believing the basic assumption that fat was bad, everything she ate was either low fat or fat free, which meant it usually had ample amounts of added sugar and high fructose corn syrup. This pattern of eating led to a slow and steady weight gain throughout college – at least 10 pounds every year. And Cindy’s health only continued to decline.
At the age of 25 she was diagnosed with hypothyroidism and the migraines she frequently experienced as a kid only grew worse. Then in 2005 and again in 2007 kids came along, which left Cindy heavier and more unhappy with her body than ever. (more…)
The Physician’s Committee for Responsible Medicine (PCRM) – a nonprofit based in Washington, D.C. – advocates for vegan diets and is out to bring dairy down, and hard. And where are they aiming their message? At kids, naturally, because they want to abolish milk from the school lunch programs for good. And in place of diary, they want to see other calcium sources on kids’ plates like beans, sweet potatoes and figs.
This isn’t an entirely unreasonable request, however, not everyone’s buying what they’re trying to sell. And perhaps it’s because of the group’s tendency to use harsh, unconventional methods for advocating in the past.
An example of PCRM’s radical ways? Just earlier this year the group placed some controversial billboards in Albany, New York, with images of overweight people grabbing their fat, and blamed dairy as the reason for their weight.
The signs said things like “Your Thighs on Cheese,” and “Your Abs on Cheese,” in an attempt to send the message that dairy is the reason Americans are fat. This, they say, is because of the saturated fat milk contains. (more…)
Chipotle, how do I love thee? Let me keep counting the ways! This place keeps getting better and better. Chipotle just announced that effective this June, 100 percent of their stores’ sour cream and 65 percent of their restaurants’ cheese will be made from pasture-raised cows.
A pasture-raised cow is one that has daily access to outdoor pastures. Additionally, the animals are never fed hormones, only a vegetarian diet. The leading Mexican grill chain has made some bold and progressive moves in the last year, challenging the existing quality found in typical fast-food. Chipotle has already made a commitment to serve only naturally raised meats that contain no hormones or antibiotics. As a further commitment to health and sustainability, Chipotle buys its produce from farms located within 250 miles of each location. They also support family farms with The Chipotle Cultivate Foundation, which helps farms with sustainable practices and promotes healthy eating for kids. (more…)
We all know how good dairy is for bone health and that it can play a positive role in fat-loss, but now scientists believe that dairy may play another positive role in our health: reducing the risk of type 2 diabetes.
Researchers have identified a natural substance in dairy fat that may substantially reduce the risk of type 2 diabetes. The compound, called trans-palmitoleic acid, is a fatty acid that is found in milk, cheese, yogurt and butter. It is not produced by the body and can only come from your diet.
Right now, you’re probably confused. After all, nutrition and health professionals have been telling us to choose low-fat dairy for years, right? Well according to the December issue of Annals of Internal Medicine, dairy fat is different in its make-up than other industrially produced trans fats found that are found in partially hydrogenated vegetable oils, which have been linked to higher risk of heart disease. On the other hand, trans-palmitoleic acid is almost exclusively found in naturally-occurring dairy and meat trans fats, which in prior studies have not been linked to higher heart disease risk, according to the study.