To detox or not to detox? That is the question I had for Gerard Mullin, MD of Johns Hopkins University as he spoke about nutritional detoxification at the 2013 Food & Nutrition Conferences and Expo a few weeks ago.
Dr. Mullin said that toxins are everywhere – in the food we eat, the air we breathe, and the things we touch.
Bisphenol A (BPA), a carcinogen, is in plastics, dental sealants, canned food linings, and cash register receipts.
Phthalates, other carcinogens, are found in fatty milk, butter and meats, along with personal care products, detergents, children’s toys, printing inks, and more.
Heavy metals, like arsenic, mercury and lead, are in food, batteries, paints, plastics, and fertilizers.
For the most part, toxins are “endocrine disruptors” that change the way our hormones regulate bodily functions. In animal studies, endocrine disruptors are linked to cancers, birth defects, diabetes, and other diseases. What is worse is that, when they work together, the sum of their actions is greater than the whole, and they are stored practically forever in body fat. Whether or not an individual develops a problem depends on genetics, level of exposure, and the quality of nutrients in the diet. (more…)
The nonprofit ocean protection group called Oceana has been performing a study, the results of which were released last week. The question – whether or not we’re being sold, and therefore eating, the fish we think we are.
Oceana took a sum of around 1,215 fish from 12 different parts of the country and examined them to see if they matched their labels or not. Listed below are the study’s findings.
What do you do when some of the healthiest foods on the planet, fish and shellfish, actually become dangerous to eat? Of course, the dangers of mercury exposure are much more extensive and complex than that, and for that reason the Obama Administration has announced its praise for new protective measures to reduce mercury and other toxic air emissions.
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has finished our first national standards to reduce toxins. Power plants are the largest man-made source of toxic air emissions such as mercury, arsenic, acid gas, and cyanide in the United States.
When mercury is not emitted naturally from such sources as volcanoes, it comes from human activities like manufacturing or burning coal for fuel.
When mercury falls from the sky through precipitation (rain or snow) into bodies of water like lakes and streams. From here, it works its way up the food chain. Bacteria in soils and sediments convert mercury to methylmercury, at which point it is consumed by small aquatic plants and animals. (more…)
Formerly “weight challenged,” Denis Faye dropped 50 pounds following a 5-year jaunt through Australia, a trip that helped him become the extreme sports and fitness enthusiast he is today. His sports include swimming, scuba, rock climbing, spelunking, mountain biking, trekking, and—most importantly—surfing. He’s been a professional journalist for 20 years, writing for Outside, the New York Times, the Los Angeles Times, Los Angeles Magazine, Wired, Men’s Health, Men’s Journal, GQ, Surfer, and Pacific Longboarder. Denis now writes for Beachbody, which provides effective home workout dvds such as the very popular P90x program and the cardio workout dvd, TurboFire.
If ever a food confused health conscious eaters, it’s canned tuna. On one side, there’s the ascetic dieter, who eats the stuff right from the tin along side his single celery stick. On the other side, there’s your mom’s awesome cream-of-mushroom soup-drenched tuna casserole, which is trumped anti-nutritionally only by that greasy diner mainstay, the tuna melt. (True fact: in many restaurants, the tuna melt outdoes the hamburger for both calories and fat.)
And then there are the questions of mercury and overfishing and omega-3 fatty acids. Is this a healthy food or not? What’s a fish eater to do?
Fortunately, once you break it down, it’s not that complicated. As it turns out, a can of tuna can be healthy, ethical, and yummy – as long as your get your hands on the right can.
Fish have been recommended as an important part of a healthy diet because of their high-quality protein, are low in saturated fat, and contain omega-3 fatty acids, particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). Incorporating a variety of fish can contribute to heart health.
However, nearly all fish contain traces of mercury. Some researchers believe consuming fish with high mercury levels will diminish all potential health benefits. Some studies have actually suggested an increased risk of cardiovascular disease associated with mercury levels in fish, whereas other studies could not find any relationship between elevated mercury and risk of heart disease. This controversy has caused much discussion on what amount of fish is safe to eat without having harmful effects in the body. (more…)