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NEWSTART@Home - Phytochemicals

Healthful Living

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McDonald's McNuggets made with 'Silly Putty' chemical

Healthful Living

What kid doesn't love McDonald's Chicken McNuggets? The white meat chunks are tasty and perfect for little mouths and hands. And while most parents are aware that McNuggets aren't perfectly healthy, they probably don't know exactly what goes into making them. CNN has revealed that the fast-food chain makes this popular menu item with the chemical preservative tBHQ, tertiary butylhydroquinone, a petroleum-based product. Mcnuggets also contain dimethylpolysiloxane, "an anti-foaming agent" also used in Silly Putty. Across the Atlantic in Britain, McNuggets don't contain these chemicals and they're less fattening.


CNN reports: McDonald's says the differences are based on the local tastes: In the United States, McNuggets are coated and then cooked, in the United Kingdom, they are cooked and then coated. As a result, the British McNuggets absorb less oil and have less fat.Dimethylpolysiloxane is used as a matter of safety to keep the oil from foaming, [Lisa McComb, who handles global media relations for McDonald's,] says. The chemical is a form of silicone also used in cosmetics and Silly Putty. A review of animal studies by The World Health Organization found no adverse health effects associated with dimethylpolysiloxane. TBHQ is a preservative for vegetable oils and animal fats, limited to .02 percent of the oil in the nugget. One gram (one-thirtieth of an ounce) can cause "nausea, vomiting, ringing in the ears, delirium, a sense of suffocation, and collapse," according to "A Consumer's Dictionary of Food Additives." Does this mean that you should keep your kids away from McNuggets altogether? Marion Nestle, a New York University professor and author of "What to Eat," told CNN that the tertiary butylhydroquinone and dimethylpolysiloxane in the McNuggets probably pose no health risks. But she added that as a general rule parents shouldn't feed their children foods with an ingredients you can't pronounce. Try pronouncing dimethylpolysiloxane...it's not easy. Do you like McNuggets? Do you feed them to your kids? Does it even surprise you that McNuggets contain a chemical that's also used in "Silly Putt"?

Read more: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/sfmoms/detail?blogid=46&entry_id=66729#ixzz0tqsibuou


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Nutritional value of fruits, veggies is dwindling

Healthful Living

While we've been dutifully eating our fruits and vegetables all these years, a strange thing has been happening to our produce. It's losing its nutrients. That's right: Today's conventionally grown produce isn't as healthful as it was 30 years ago — and it's only getting worse. The decline in fruits and vegetables was first reported more than 10 years ago by English researcher Anne-Marie Mayer, PhD, who looked at the dwindling mineral concentrations of 20 UK-based crops from the 1930s to the 1980s.

It's happening to crops in the United States, too. In 2004, Donald Davis, PhD, a former researcher with the Biochemical Institute at the University of Texas, Austin, led a team that analyzed 43 fruits and vegetables from 1950 to 1999 and reported reductions in vitamins, minerals, and protein. Using USDA data, he found that broccoli, for example, had 130 mg of calcium in 1950. Today, that number is only 48 mg. What's going on? Davis believes it's due to the farming industry's desire to grow bigger vegetables faster. The very things that speed growth — selective breeding and synthetic fertilizers — decrease produce's ability to synthesize nutrients or absorb them from the soil. article reference. . .


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Vegetarian Food Pyramid Chart

Healthful Living

Vegetarianism takes different forms and its definition can vary greatly depending on who you are speaking to or in what part of the world you find yourself. Some communities, such as Seventh-day Adventists, promote a vegetarian diet primarily for its health benefits. For others, such as Hindus, vegetarianism is a natural extention of the pacifist beliefs. Although the term "vegan" is generally meant to describe those who do not consume any animal or dairy products, its pop culture definition often implies not only a particular diet but also a lifestyle where manufactured goods made from animal products are avoided. I like to refer to the Christian "vegans" outside of this popular group of new agers as "total vegetarians".

During our sunday night webinar on nutrition we discussed the Vegetarian Food Pyramid Chart looking at overall guidelines for a healthful vegetarian diet. For those of you who missed our sunday night webinar online you may download this chart here

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