For The Love Of Food

by | May 25, 2012

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

Why eating organic food doesn’t make you a jerk, how a pastry chef in Paris keeps his man-ish figure, and how NOT to get your husband to eat better.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Delicious. I also share links on Twitter @summertomatoGoogle+ and the Summer Tomato Facebook page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you. (And yes, I took that pepper heart pic myself).

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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For The Love Of Food

by | May 27, 2011

For The Love of Food

Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

This week I found a surprisingly in depth and thoughtful piece on genetically modified foods, an even more impressive food commitment by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, and a few good signs that the politics of food labels are headed in the right direction—truth.

Also, for you geeks my thesis work is finally published. Here’s the deets.

Want to see all my favorite links? Be sure to follow me on on Digg. I also share links at Twitter (@summertomato) and the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

Links of the week

What inspired you this week?

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Dairy: Friend or Foe? – Episode #5 – Summer Tomato Live [video]

by | Apr 18, 2011

Thanks to those of you who participated in this episode on the role of dairy in health and weight loss. Show notes are below.

Please note that the date for the probiotics episode (#6) has changed to Monday, April 25 @ 6:30p PST (previously Tuesday, April 26).

April 11, 2011 | Does milk really protect against osteoporosis? Will too much calcium give you prostate cancer? Can you reduce acne if you stop eating dairy? What’s the deal with raw milk?

The answers may surprise you.

Tune in tonight at 6:30pm PST to join our live discussion about the pros and cons of dairy.

Live participation is only available to subscribers of the newsletter Tomato Slice. You can sign up at any time, even during the show, and the password for participation will be emailed to you immediately.

Click here to sign up and get the password

Read this for more information on the show and newsletter

To watch live and join the discussion click the red “Join event” button, login with Twitter or your Vokle account, and enter the password when prompted.

I encourage you to call in with video questions, particularly if your question is nuanced and may involve a back and forth discussion. Please use headphones to call in however, or the feedback from the show is unbearable.

Show notes:

There is a huge amount of politics surrounding this science, because of the powerful influence of dairy industries around the world. This makes data difficult to interpret. The following review and its rebuttal regarding the role of milk in type 1 diabetes is a perfect example of what I mean:

Dairy & type 1 diabetes

Dairy and osteoporosis

Dairy and acne

Dairy/calcium and heart disease

Dairy/calcium and prostate cancer

Dairy/calcium and colon cancer

Dairy & breast cancer

Dairy & weight loss (very tough to find studies not funded by dairy industry)

  • Moderate weight loss from dairy (but rarely from intervention studies w/o caloric restriction)
  • Possible mechanisms include:
    • Ca++
    • protein
    • conjugated lineoleic acid (CLA)
    • medium-chain fatty acids
  • My interpretation: dairy not likely to have big impact on body weight

Cheese protects against cancer and heart disease?

Extras

  • Processed ice cream contains beaver anal gland?
  • Wikipedia
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    Healthy Vegetarian & Vegan Diets – Episode #4 – Summer Tomato Live [video]

    by | Apr 6, 2011

    Thanks to those of you who participated in episode #4 about healthy vegetarian & vegan diets. I learned a lot while researching this post, and there’s valuable info on omega-3 fatty acids, essential minerals and other nutrition information that’s important for omnivores as well.

    All show notes, including my annotated Kindle notes of Amazon’s most popular vegetarian nutrition book (I’m not a fan) are below. Everyone should at least skim through them, there’s a lot of great information/clarification in there.

    Episode #5, Dairy: Friend or Foe? is airing on Monday, April 11 at 6:30pm PST. Does milk help or hurt your chances or getting osteoporosis? Does calcium cause prostate cancer? What’s the role of milk in acne? What about raw milk, is it really the holy grail? Join us on Monday to learn the answers.

    ______________________________________________________

    March 29, 2011 | Episode #4 of Summer Tomato Live. The topic is healthy vegetarian and vegan diets (with lots of interesting nutrition information for omnivores too).

    Live participation is only available to subscribers of the newsletter Tomato Slice. You can sign up at any time, even during the show, and the password for participation will be emailed to you immediately.

    Click here to sign up and get the password

    Read this for more information on the show and newsletter

    To watch live and join the discussion click the red “Join event” button, login with Twitter or your Vokle account, and enter the password when prompted.

    I encourage you to call in with video questions, particularly if your question is nuanced and may involve a back and forth discussion. Please use headphones to call in however, or the feedback from the show is unbearable.

    The show will be recorded and released to the public next week. Show notes are below.

    Show notes:

    Follow Darya on Kindle

    Darya’s Kindle notes on Becoming Vegetarian by Vesanto Melina and Brenda Davis

    Health:

    Tools:

    I hope to see you there!

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    For The Love Of Food

    by | Jan 21, 2011

    For The Love of Food

    Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

    This week I learned some products contain “blueberries” that are really just sugar, goo and dye, Starbucks wants to kill you with coffee (while 7-eleven wants to kill you slightly less with soda) and ginger is good for sore muscles.

    I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For a complete list of my favorite stories check out my links on Digg. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

    Links of the week


    The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    Thought for Food – Fruit Pouch, Doritos Ad & Super Big Gulp<a>
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor & Satire Blog</a> Video Archive


    Have a great weekend!

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    For The Love Of Food

    by | Jul 30, 2010

    For The Love of Food

    Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

    This week, the science behind why different diets work for different people, how the nutritional value of our produce is declining and why Coca-Cola is being sued for breaking the Jelly Bean rule. Also, new research about the role of personal relationships in health and another benefit of drinking alcohol.

    Oh, and the BS of the week was so bad I deleted it. Didn’t want to waste your time when there were so many good things to read.

    I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For a complete reading list join me on the new Digg or StumbleUpon. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you.

    Links of the week

    What inspired you this week?

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    For The Love of Food

    by | Jan 29, 2010
    For The Love of Food

    For The Love of Food

    Welcome to Friday’s For The Love of Food, Summer Tomato’s weekly link roundup.

    For some reason the New York Times was brimming with great food and health articles this week. I particularly like the expose of meaningless food labels and the article on the wonders of the pressure cooker. And if you feel like giggling, find out why Stephen Colbert thinks being skinny is un-American.

    I read many more wonderful articles than I post here each week. If you’d like to see more or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page. For complete reading lists join me on the social bookmarking sites StumbleUpon and Delicious. I’m very active on all these sites and would love to connect with you there. (Note: If you want a follow back on Twitter introduce yourself with an @ message).

    For The Love of Food


    The Colbert Report Mon – Thurs 11:30pm / 10:30c
    The Word – Manifest Density
    www.colbertnation.com
    Colbert Report Full Episodes Political Humor Economy

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    For The Love of Food

    by | May 22, 2009
    For The Love of Food

    For The Love of Food

    Welcome back to For The Love of Food. We’ve got some great stuff for you here this week, including my guest post at the renowned MizFitOnline and the first ever “B.S. of the week.”

    If you would like to see more of my favorite articles each week or just don’t want to wait until Friday, be sure to follow me on Twitter (@summertomato) or the Summer Tomato Facebook fan page.

    Submissions of your own best food and health articles are also welcome, just drop me an email using the contact form.

    For The Love of Food

    What great articles did you read this week?

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    Top 10 Food Facts Everyone Should Know

    by | Feb 23, 2009

    winter vegetablesIn honor of the food issue this week at Synapse, I compiled a list of ten essential diet and nutrition facts you might not know:

    1. “Vitamins” are not the same as whole foods. Instant ramen and a multivitamin is not a healthy meal. There is no substitute for a diet of whole foods rich in vegetables, beans, grains and fish.
    2. A healthy diet can prevent or even reverse four out of the six leading causes of death in the US. Evidence indicates that diet is more important than genetics in the vast majority of heart disease, stroke, cancer and type 2 diabetes cases.
    3. The thinnest, healthiest people in the world eat “high carb” diets. But they definitely do not eat the processed, refined carbohydrates that flood Western culture. If you want to lose weight and live longer without disease, eat more vegetables and whole grains.
    4. You get plenty of calcium. Americans consume more calcium than most countries on earth, yet still sport some of the highest rates of osteoporosis. This debilitating disease is more likely caused by insufficient vitamin D, not enough exercise and/or too much protein. Also, excess calcium is linked to prostate cancer and milk to ovarian cancer. Calcium does not support weight loss either.
    5. “Fiber” is not the same as vegetables and grains. Fiber supplements do not offer the same benefits as fiber-filled foods, and do not help with weight loss or protect against disease.
    6. The best sources of protein are plants and fish. It is relatively easy to get complete protein (i.e., all the essential amino acids) from a diverse diet. Protein from red meat offers more risk than reward. (Yes, pork is red meat.)
    7. Fruits and vegetables protect your vision. Both cataracts and macular degeneration are strongly tied to diet.
    8. Fats from factories are dangerous. Processed oils and trans fats (not total dietary fat) are associated with heart disease, type 2 diabetes, cancer and obesity. Replacing them with natural oils could save your life.
    9. Fats from plants and fish are essential. Mono- and polyunsaturated fats protect against heart disease, type 2 diabetes and memory loss. In moderation they can also aid in weight loss, since they increase the satiety you feel after a meal.
    10. You can lose weight on any short-term diet, but you will probably gain back more than you ultimately lose. This is often true even if you stay on the diet. Focusing on long-term health is the best strategy for sustained weight loss, but it requires patience.

    What are other common myths about diet and nutrition?

    UPDATE: For more information on the health value of oils from fish, please read my answer in the comments section.

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    You Should Be Taking Vitamin D Supplements

    by | Dec 10, 2008
    Vitamin D

    Vitamin D

    For the past several years the data in support of increasing vitamin D intake for every living human has been mounting. This week the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition features a collection of new research articles addressing the trends in vitamin D status and optimal dose recommendations.

    This week’s take home lesson: While current research indicates we should be getting more vitamin D than is presently recommended, as a whole our vitamin D levels appear to have decreased in the past 15 years. The best way to combat this deficiency is with vitamin D supplements.

    Vitamin D is a fat-soluble prohormone and essential nutrient produced when ultraviolet radiation (UVB) contacts our skin. It is probably best known for its role in bone metabolism (it has been shown to be more important than calcium for maintaining bone health), however recent studies indicate that vitamin D is essential for other physiological process as well.

    Low blood levels of vitamin D have now been associated with many different chronic diseases including cancer, coronary heart disease, multiple sclerosis, Alzheimer’s disease, tuberculosis, depression, hypertension, periodontal disease, schizophrenia, seasonal affective disorder and type 1 diabetes.

    In light of these findings, many nutrition researchers have argued for increasing recommended levels of vitamin D intake, but making population-wide recommendations have proved difficult for world health agencies because of large variability and uncertainty in vitamin D requirements.

    There are several things to consider when evaluating vitamin D status in an individual. Latitude (sun exposure) is probably the single best predictor of vitamin D status. Anyone living in San Francisco or further north cannot get enough sun exposure to achieve sufficient vitamin D status, particularly during the winter months.

    Because vitamin D is fat-soluble, it is retained in body tissues for several months after sun exposure. For this reason, people living at far north latitudes are particularly vulnerable to vitamin D deficiency because they frequently do not store up sufficient vitamin D during the summer to sustain their needs during the winter.

    To further complicate matters, it is incredibly difficult to obtain vitamin D through dietary sources. Fatty fish and eggs are the only natural sources of vitamin D, though they are probably insufficient to achieve optimal status. Milk and soy products are typically fortified with vitamin D, as are some juices.

    Skin pigmentation, sun avoidance and body composition (high body fat) are all associated with vitamin D deficiency. Darker skin tones do not convert sunlight to vitamin D as easily as lighter skin tones. Sunscreen blocks virtually all vitamin D synthesis. Body fat reduces bioavailability of vitamin D tissue stores.

    This week’s study by Anne Looker et al, suggests that increased body mass as well as awareness of skin cancer risk and use of sunscreen have contributed to a significant decline in vitamin D levels in north America in the past decade.

    The good news is that supplementation does appear to be effective at improving vitamin D status. Though there is still some disagreement on what the optimum blood levels of vitamin D are, it is generally agreed that they are much higher than currently recommended by any world health organization. One of the principle motivations of the present studies is to inform new vitamin D recommendations.

    Kevin Cashman et al offers estimations of dietary requirements of vitamin D for healthy adults. They performed a randomized, placebo-controlled study testing the effects of different vitamin D doses and how they effect blood vitamin D levels.

    The absolute minimum amount of vitamin D supplementation recommended by the study is 8.7 ug/day, or approximately 400 IU. This was to maintain blood serum levels greater than 25 nmol/L, and is double the current FDA recommendation for people under age 50. However, this suggestion is only sufficient to avoid deficiencies associated with bone loss and not other chronic diseases.

    “The data from the present study clearly show that vitamin D tissue stores, developed during summer via exposure of skin to sunshine, were not sufficient to maintain serum 25(OH)D concentrations of greater than 25 nmol/L in most of the population [during winter], and that dietary vitamin D is an absolute requirement to maintain status above this minimum threshold.”

    But the recommendations do not stop here. To maintain blood serum levels of greater than 50 nmol/L–a range more consistent with lowering risk of chronic disease–the study recommends 28 ug/day or 1100 IU of vitamin D. To keep blood serum above 80 nmol/L (from all I have read this is what I would recommend), 41 ug/day or 1650 IU is needed.

    Remember this is most important if you are overweight, live north of San Francisco, get little sun exposure or have darker skin. Very rarely do I recommend vitamin supplements (they are not usually effective and are sometimes dangerous), but in this case the evidence is unequivocal.

    Vitamin D supplements are easier to find than in the past, but they are usually packaged with calcium and are insufficient in dosage. Men should be wary of excess calcium supplementation since it is associated with an increased risk of prostate cancer.

    I will continue looking for a good vitamin D supplement and will post when I find one I am happy with. If you have any recommendations, please share them with us.

    Look for supplements where vitamin D is in the form of cholecalciferol, or vitamin D3.

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