Friday, November 25, 2011

Choice of healthy cooking oils

My family has been buying mainly canola oil for cooking for the past year or so, as it is commonly sold in supermarkets and labelled as healthy.

Recently, I came to find out that canola oil isn't as healthy as it is claimed to be.

Natural News website has a video on it (as shown in below link). The Health Ranger recommends natural healthy oils, such as:
- coconut oil
- extra virgin olive oil
- avocado oil
- flaxseed oil (to be used in moderation though, as cautioned in this website)
- peanut oil

Are you eating pesticides? Canola oil a great insect killer -
Fats That Can Be Safely Heated
Butter and tropical fats - coconut, palm, palm kernel, cocoa, and shea nut - are safest for frying, because they contain only small quantities of Essential Fatty-Acids ( EFA's ). The saturated fatty acids contained in these fats / oils are inert and therefore heat stable. Heat does not destroy them in the same way it destroys EFAs. Butter and tropical Fats are best used unhydrogenated. Only small amounts should be eaten, as they are sticky, hard, saturated fatty acid-containing fats.

(most oils and fats once high heated become carcinogens . - LRU) Tropical oils got a bad reputation for increasing cholesterol and triglyceride levels that supposedly cause cardiovascular disease. An unconfirmed rumor suggests that the soy bean industry financed the successful campaign against tropical fats to kill imports and increase soy bean sales. Tropical oils used in their country of origin have been shown in several studies to decrease cholesterol levels. The difference in results may be due to several causes: deterioration in tropical oils during storage ( oxidation; processing hydrogenation ) ; differing experimental design; or a combination of the above. Raw tropical oils are rich sources of vitamin E and tocotrienols, which help protect arteries from damage leading to cardiovascular disease ( CVD ) . Olive oil imported from Italy is safe for baking but not for frying or deep frying. Buy only imported Italian olive oil as it is cold processed by law.
Before you read the following article, here is a summary of a few facts regarding Canola Oil:
  • It is genetically engineered rapeseed.
  • Canada paid the FDA the sum of $50 million to have rape seed registered and recognized as "safe". (Source: Young Again and others)
  • Rapeseed is a lubricating oil used by small industry. It has never been meant for human consumption.
  • It is derived from the mustard family and is considered a toxic and poisonous weed, which when processed, becomes rancid very quickly.
  • It has been shown to cause lung cancer (Wall Street Journal: 6/7/95)
  • It is very inexpensive to grow and harvest. Insects won't eat it.
  • Some typical and possible side effects include loss of vision, disruption of the central nervous system, respiratory illness, anemia, constipation, increased incidence of heart disease and cancer, low birth weights in infants and irritability.
  • Generally rapeseed has a cumulative effect, taking almost 10 years before symptoms begin to manifest. It has a tendency to inhibit proper metabolism of foods and prohibits normal enzyme function. Canola is a Trans Fatty Acid, which has shown to have a direct link to cancer. These Trans Fatty acids are labeled as hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils. Avoid all of them!
  • According to John Thomas' book, Young Again, 12 years ago in England and Europe, rape seed was fed to cows, pigs and sheep who later went blind and began attacking people. There were no further attacks after the rape seed was eliminated from their diet.
  • Someone commented in this website:
    "Monied interests truly run the show behind the scenes of the food industry. And health authorities, with their gleaming mantel of official legitimacy, are like the sleazy patrons of these slimy corporate mercenaries...kind of reminds one of those bad old days where the rich and powerful hold sway over the minds and lives of the common folk."

    Someone in this blog wrote: 
    "I don't know what you'll be cooking with tonight, but I'll be using olive oil or the very healthy alternative Coconut oil."

    On a similar note, I can relate to a testimony shared by someone in this website Danger In The Kitchen:Is Canola Oil Bad For You? because I too had experienced knee joint pains occasionally, especially in the past few years. I have stopped buying canola oil since, although the knee joint pains somehow continue to occur occasionally, perhaps less frequently than before - I am suspecting the knee joint pains could be due to long-term fluoride ingestion from toothpastes and mouthwash, but that's another blog for now.
    Paul November 9, 2009 at 12:22 am
    I would like to relate my personal experience after using canola oil for over 10 years. My wife and I love popcorn and 5 nights a week we would pop the corn and enjoy our treat using canola oil because it said had no cholesterol.
    After many years of using canola oil I had noticed yellow in the whites of my eyes and was concerned as the yellow indicates a liver issue. I am not a drinker nor do I abuse my body, my motto is to be moderate in all things including moderation. In the spring of 2002, I could barely walk as my knees were very inflamed. The inflammation started in my right knee and 3 weeks later my left knee. Going up stairs was so painful I wanted to cry. Some days were worse than others. In the fall of 2004 I was taking a medical course and the doctor presenting the course ask as a side note if anyone was using canola oil? He suggested anyone using the oil to change as canola oil blocks the function of the liver and causes the toxins to backup. These toxins would cause inflammation to the joints of the body as our body tries to clear those toxins. At the time I did not know want kind of oil we used. I called my wife and she told me we used canola oil and sure enough when I got home that night I found a gallon bottle in our cabinet. I changed our use that night and over the next 3 weeks my knee issues went away. It took 3 months for the yellow in the whites of my eyes to clear. To this day, I ask whenever I am at a restaurant what kind of oil they use. Sometimes I am served something cooked in canola oil and my knees will ache for the next 3 days. Another thing I have noticed, if served canola oil, I will have intestinal gas after 30 to 40 minutes of digestion. I am watchful of any food prepared with canola oil.
    Earlier this year I went so far as to write the Canola oil board in Canada, the Ministry of health in Canada as well as the FDA asking for copies of any long term human studies. I was informed there have been no long term studies.
    Last month I was on a Celebrity cruise ship and asked the top chef what kind of oil they use as I have problems with canola oil and cannot use it. He stated to me they will not use canola oil as it causes joint problems. I was very surprised to hear that from him and asked where he got his information? He stated with as many senior people on the ships, they had many complaints and will not use the oil.
    Please pay attention to the use of this oil!
    Thank you,
    Meanwhile, the research goes on... 

    Wednesday, November 23, 2011

    The healing power of okra

    Here's sharing some information I came across just now about the health benefits of okra (lady's fingers) - a type of vegetable. It grows in the tropics, though I think it is available for sale in temperate countries like Canada. It is beneficial especially for those with blood type A, B or O.

    I googled about it and found supporting information about the health benefits of okra:
    "3. Okra helps lubricate the large intestines due to its bulk laxative qualities. The okra fiber absorbs water and ensures bulk in stools. This helps prevent and improve constipation. Unlike harsh wheat bran, which can irritate or injure the intestinal tract, okra's mucilage soothes, and okra facilitates elimination more comfortably by its slippery characteristic.
    4.Okra fibre is excellent for feeding the good bacteria (probiotics). This contributes to the health of the intestinal tract."
    "Okra is rich in fiber, nearly half of which is soluble fibre in the forms of gums and pectins. This type of fibre helps to lower serum cholesterol, reducing the risk of heart disease. The other half its fiber is the insoluble form that helps to keep the intestinal tract healthy, decreasing the risk of some types of cancer, especially colorectal cancer."
    "It helps to neutralize acids, being very alkaline, and provides a temporary protective coating for the digestive tract. It can be utilized by people suffering from acid reflux."

    Wednesday, November 16, 2011

    Natural remedies for relieving constipation

    Constipation may be caused by insufficient intake of water, as well as side effects of drugs or supplements, such as iron supplements.

    Some remedies that I have tested and tried to be effective include:
    1. Drinking plenty of water, especially in the earlier part of the day (morning and early afternoon)

    2. Getting sufficient exercise - walking, and doing abdominal exercises can help strength the muscles necessary to empty the bowel without much straining

    3. Deep breathing and relaxation techniques, such as yoga

    4. Getting sufficient rest and sleep

    5.- Reducing intake of meat in meals

    6. Chewing food slowly and thoroughly where possible

    I learnt that it is important to chew food slowly and thoroughly where possible when eating a meal.
    "When you chew, your brain sends signals to your stomach and intestines that food is on the way. Your body can prepare itself for everything it will need to properly digest the food you eat. By giving your system a head start, the food you eat is better absorbed and digested. This passes the food more effectively and efficiently through your body. The more nutrients absorbed from the food you eat, the less fat that is absorbed for later use."

    7. Increasing intake of fruits and vegetables
    eg papayas, guavas, bananas, cucumbers, grapes, green apples (with skin intact)

    I also remember that some fruits, such as guava and papaya, can be very effective to help relieve symptoms of constipation. Ripe guavas with soft flesh are especially effective (raw ones can be hard to chew, so should be avoided) - there were times I ate a ripe guava after lunch, and the next day, I experienced bowel movement quite easily. The high fibre content provides roughage for the colon and rectum to release the stool more easily.

    I have also checked that guava, cucumber, grapes, apples with green skin intact, papayas and bananas are suitable for people with blood type B. These foods are high in fibre, and helps maintain the health of your digestive system naturally, and without having gluten allergy side effects.

    I learnt that eating ripe bananas have other benefits:

    Reducing Depression
    Bananas contain tryptophan, an amino acid that can be converted to serotonin, leading to improved mood
    Bananas are relatively high in iron, which helps the body’s hemoglobin function
    Constipation and Diarrhea
    Due to their content in fiber, they help restore a normal bowel function. In addition, diarrhea usually depletes your body of important electrolytes (of which the most important is potassium, contained in high amounts in bananas). They also contain pectin, a soluble fiber (hydrocolloid) that can help normalize movement through the digestive tract.
    8. Taking natural supplements, such prune juice, psyllium husk
    "Psyllium is quickly becoming one of the top recommendations for people using low-carb Atkins-style diets. It is very difficult to get enough fibre in a diet when you eliminate the carbohydrates in cereals, whole grains and fruits. Psyllium capsules are an easy way to take care of this problem. It fills you with fibre, reducing appetite without overstimulating the nervous system; a much healthier approach than formulas containing ephedra such as Herbalife or Metabolife."
     I remember I took the supplement in powder form with water - I would poured one small satchet of psyllium husk into a glass of water, and stir it to mix well with water. Then I would drink it completely. Sometimes I would drink another glass of water after that. There were times the bowel movement occurred shortly, within half an hour. Other times, there was no immediate response, so I simply continued to drink lots of water (8-10 or more glasses of water) during the day, and then tried taking the supplement again the next day, for the bowel to clear naturally on its own. I tried to minimise straining where possible, and let it happen naturally with the help of deep breathing.

    I also have managed to remember the brand name of the natural fibre supplement I took last time - it is called Fybogel.

    I also found some samples of dulcofibre in the kitchen cabinet, which I haven't tried yet. I think it is a new product - I just googled it and found this information.

    I also remember drinking prune juice which I bought from the supermarket - I used to drink a glass of prune juice every day or every other day, besides drinking plenty of water, and it helps to facilitate a relatively smooth bowel movement - sometimes the day after.

    Prune juice is also suitable for people of blood type B. For some reason, the website below discourages people from drinking coconut milk. On the other hand, it lists papaya and banana as beneficial for people of blood type B.

    9. Taking probiotics

    Here's sharing some information on this Neobiotics probiotics that I have been taking every other day - I find that it is quite effective in maintaining regular bowel movement too.
    "Yes, probiotics for constipation do work even for chronic constipation and the evidence continues to grow."
    Additional resource on probiotics:

    According to this medical website:
    "The goal of therapy for constipation is one bowel movement every two to three days without straining."

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