HEALTH & RESEARCH
Do People That Eat Margarine Really Know How It’s Manufactured? Tags: health freedom natural health natural health

Natasha Longo, Prevent Disease
Waking Times

Polyunsaturated margarine became a major part of the Western diet and had overtaken butter in popularity in the mid-20th century. Despite their best efforts, the margarine lobby has failed to convince most people that their synthetic concoctions are healthy. So what is not obvious to most of the people who consume it? The manufacturing process of course, which is very similar to the way plastic is produced.

Did you know that numerous types of margarine carry the approved recommendations and seal of agencies that also promote cardiovascular health, such as heart and stroke foundations?

These days there are other con artists such as Earth’s Balance deceiving consumers and convincing perhaps millions of unsuspecting vegetarians and vegans into thinking they have the next best spread to replace butter when all they contain is genetically modified ingredients and more toxic oils like Canola.

Many consumers are also now choosing a particular imitation buttery spread because its label says it contains omega-3, not realizing the fatty acid is inferior compared with omega-3 from fish oil. For instance, Unilever Canada has been actively promoting the health aspects of margarine, particularly with its Becel line of products. Nearly all Becel products contains omega-3 derived from plant oils and usually through toxic extraction.

 

The problem is most consumers don’t have the nutrition savvy to know or understand how omega-3s are extracted and that they are not all the same.

Many of these spreads are only accentuating the all too pervasive imbalance that vegetable oils are causing with our omega-6 to omega-3 ratios. That imbalance has been linked to an increased risk for heart disease and may contribute to cancer, asthma, osteoporosis, inflammation, depression and other ailments. A growing body of evidence suggests the overconsumption of omega-6 needs attention.

Toxic GMO Soybean oil alone is now so ubiquitous in fast foods and processed foods that an astounding 20 percent of the calories in the American diet are estimated to come from this single source.

The ideal ratio between these two fatty acids is 1:1 and the nutritional habits of most people in developed nations has this ratio soaring more than 15:1 (omega 6: omega 3). So unless you are consuming reasonable amounts of omega 3 in your diet, you should stay away from any type of spread or oil saturated with omega 6. Omega-3 and omega-6 compete for the same metabolic enzymes. The dietary imbalance that exists in rice bran oil can create all sorts of problems to body processes, including a tendency towards inflammation.

Manufacturing Process

The basic method of making margarine today consists of emulsifying a blend of vegetable oils and fats, which can be modified using fractionation, interesterification, and/or hydrogenation of plant fats, chilling the mixture to solidify it and working it to improve the texture. Those fats that are liquid at room temperature are oils.

The oils are hydrogenated by passing hydrogen through the oil in the presence of a nickel catalyst. The addition of hydrogen effectively increases the melting point of the oil and thus “hardening” it. Margarines made in this way contain hydrogenated fat. If some of the chemical bonds aren’t hydrogenated during the process, they will still be present in the final margarine in molecules of trans fats the consumption of which has been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease.

To boost its health profile, modern margarines are making their products from wide variety of animal or vegetable fats, mixed with skim milk, and emulsifiers, such as soy lecithin to help disperse the water phase evenly throughout the oil, and preservatives are also commonly added.

The margarine industry has also taken to promoting the fact it’s low in saturated fat, a thinly veiled jab at butter. But growing evidence is now firmly establishing that saturated fat may not be a problem at all. A false interpretation of scientific studies has led to millions being “over-medicated” with statin drugs due to the proliferation of myths in the medical community regarding the role of saturated fat in heart disease.

Certainly if saturated fat was a problem, then coconut oil would be the unhealthiest oil on Earth, yet it’s the healthiest.

Actually butter contains many nutrients that protect us from heart disease. First among these is vitamin A which is needed for the health of the thyroid and adrenal glands, both of which play a role in maintaining the proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system. Abnormalities of the heart and larger blood vessels occur in babies born to vitamin A deficient mothers. Butter was and is still is recognized by many as the most easily absorbed source of vitamin A.

Butter contains lecithin, a substance that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents.

Butter also contains a number of anti-oxidants that protect against the kind of free radical damage that weakens the arteries. Vitamin A and vitamin E found in butter both play a strong anti-oxidant role. Butter is a very rich source of selenium, a vital anti-oxidant–containing more per gram than herring or wheat germ.

Why You Should Avoid Margarine, Shortening and Spreads

There are a myriad of unhealthy components to margarine and other butter imposters, including:

  • Trans fats: These unnatural fats in margarine, shortenings and spreads are formed during the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oils into a solid fatTrans fats contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; and low birth weight, growth problems and learning disabilities in children.A U.S. government panel of scientists determined that man-made trans fats are unsafe at any level. (Small amounts of natural trans fats occur in butter and other animal fats, but these are not harmful.)
  • Free radicals: Free radicals and other toxic breakdown products are the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease.
  • Synthetic vitamins: Synthetic vitamin A and other vitamins are added to margarine and spreads. These often have an opposite (and detrimental) effect compared to the natural vitamins in butter.
  • Emulsifiers and preservatives: Numerous additives of questionable safety are added to margarines and spreads. Most vegetable shortening is stabilized with preservatives like BHT.
  • Hexane and other solvents: Used in the extraction process, these industrial chemicals can have toxic effects.
  • Bleach: The natural color of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is grey so manufacturers bleach it to make it white. Yellow coloring is then added to margarine and spreads.
  • Artificial flavors: These help mask the terrible taste and odor of partially hydrogenated oils, and provide a fake butter taste.
  • Mono- and di-glycerides: These contain trans fats that manufacturers do not have to list on the label. They are used in high amounts in so-called “low-trans” spreads.
  • Soy protein isolate: This highly processed powder is added to “low-trans” spreads to give them body. It can contribute to thyroid dysfunction, digestive disorders and many other health problems.
  • Sterols: Often added to spreads to give them cholesterol-lowering qualities, these estrogen compounds can cause endocrine problems; in animals these sterols contribute to sexual inversion.

I don’t eat much butter myself but I would select it as an option on any opportunity over these chemical and so-called healthier spreads. If you really want to use a healthy spread, try coconut butter or one of many healthy nut or hemp butters available. The further you stay away from chemical and genetically modified spreads made with GMO oils, the healthier your diet will be.

About the Author

Natasha Longo has a master’s degree in nutrition and is a certified fitness and nutritional counselor. She has consulted on public health policy and procurement in Canada, Australia, Spain, Ireland, England and Germany.

 

Gluten Intolerance Can Wreck Your Life Tags: health freedom natural health

by Daisy Luther

Contributor

(Author’s Note: This is part one of a series I plan to write on this topic. This one is personal. In part two, I’ll bring the science…)

For those who suffer from it daily, gluten intolerance is no joke.

I’m so sick of reading articles written by people — who have not personally experienced gluten intolerance — calling it a “fad diet” or a mostly mental “self-fulfilling prophecy” for those who have decided to exclude wheat from their diets based on some random “food anxiety”.

First, let’s sum up what we’re talking about here. Celiac Disease is an an autoimmune disease; that means the body has an immune reaction to eating the protein gluten. The person ends up getting attacked by their own immune system. Sufferer Jordan Reasoner summed it up really well:

Celiac Disease triggers a war inside your body. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease.  Autoimmune diseases “arise from inappropriate immune response of the body against substances and tissues normally present in the body.”

I really like that word “inappropriate”… I agree it’s inappropriate that my immune system, which is supposed to protect me from the outside world, is actually mistaking some part of my body as an evil pathogen and attacking my healthy tissue.

 

For people who have been diagnosed with the full-blown disease, not eating gluten to a Celiac is like a diabetic’s insulin requirement. If a Celiac eats gluten, it could literally kill them.

Being gluten intolerant is not quite to that level, but it can also make a person very ill when they eat gluten. Food Renegade‘s Kristen Michaelis explains gluten intolerance clearly:

It isn’t a food allergy. It’s a physical condition in your gut. Basically, undigested gluten proteins (prevalent in wheat and other grains) hang out in your intestines and are treated by your body like a foreign invader, irritating your gut and flattening the microvilli along the small intestine wall. Without those microvilli, you have considerably less surface area with which to absorb the nutrients from your food. This leads sufferers to experience symptoms of malabsorption, including chronic fatigue, neurological disorders, nutrient deficiencies, anemia, nausea, skin rashes, depression, and more.

If you remove gluten from the diet, the gut heals and the myriad of symptoms disappears.  (source)

In short, if the lining of your small intestine is damaged, you have a much harder time absorbing nutrients from your food. When that happens, it can make you all kinds of sick, manifesting itself with a glorious array of flat-out horrible health problems that continue to get worse and worse the longer gluten is consumed.

The Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

While many people primarily connect gluten issues with digestive problems such as acid reflux, bloating, cramping, extreme or persistent flatulence, diarrhea and even nausea after eating it, in reality, there are a whopping 200-plus symptoms that can manifest as a result of gluten intolerance.

For example, did you know gluten intolerance can also show up also show up as:

  • extreme fatigue, tiredness and exhaustion
  • weakness (due to vitamin/mineral deficiencies)
  • mood swings, chronic irritability, depression and/or anxiety
  • headaches, leading to migraines
  • poor concentration and/or brain fog, or a “clouding of the thinking process”
  • eczema or other types of skin rashes
  • hair loss
  • weight gain or loss
  • insomnia
  • joint pain and muscle cramps
  • fertility issues (such as abnormal menstrual cycles), PMS issues, polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS), endometriosis
  • neurological issues, including dizziness, tingling in the extremities, difficulty balancing, “clumsiness” and even seizures
  • frequent canker sores (apthus ulcers) and dental enamel deficiencies
  • acne
  • edema
  • urinary tract infections
  • bruising easily
  • blood sugar irregularities
  • nosebleeds
  • night blindness
  • respiratory problems and asthma

…and the list, literally, goes on and on.

My Gluten Story

I used to be straight-up obese. And I wasn’t just overweight, but I was also depressed and tired all the time. I probably tried a bajillion diets over the years, everything from the grapefruit diet or the oatmeal diet to taking more than my fair share of nasty pills, powders and shakes. I know bajillion is not a real number, but after as many times as I modified what I ate and drank to try and “fix” myself, I feel like it should be.

Still, it seemed there were days I could eat nothing but crackers and drink only water and still manage to somehow gain weight. Exercise didn’t affect the numbers on my scale one iota. The pounds packed on easily and wouldn’t come off for anything.

During my early college years, I ballooned to almost 245 pounds. (I’ll forgo the story on what that does to a person’s self-confidence and social life just as they come into adulthood, but it’s safe to say, I had body issues.)

Me at my heaviest, circa 2002. There aren’t a lot of pictures of me back then because I typically hid from anything that even remotely resembled a camera.

When I ate, I noticed that I frequently felt sick shortly afterward, right around the time my food began to digest. It would start with feeling bloated. Painfully so. Then the cramping. Sometimes I would have to run to the bathroom right away, suddenly, we’re talking emergency level. In an attempt to avoid getting graphic here, let’s just say I would end up sick from one end or another. It was painful. Terrifically painful.

My bathroom cabinet was filled with a wide array of over-the-counter stomach meds. Stuff to help you go to the bathroom. Stuff to help you stop going to the bathroom. I kept feeling horrible and I kept going back to the doctor and I kept getting labeled with one wonderful new disorder after another. My gallbladder had to be removed. After the anesthesia wore off, I was told I almost died. I wasn’t even 25 years old.

Then I found out that I couldn’t have babies. The doctors did not know why. After a battery of uncomfortable tests, they simply told me my ovaries “weren’t working” for some mysterious reason. It was sometime later that I was also diagnosed with polycystic ovarian syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis, two reproductive terrors for which I had multiple painful removal surgeries where they cut you open and use a laser to burn cysts off your uterus (which they can only do so many times because it just keeps coming back anyway). I spent a lot of my days alternating between writhing on the floor in agony and sobbing in the fetal position. My life became a nightmare I couldn’t wake up from, and every day was exactly the same: pain.

After being diagnosed as insulin resistant, I went on the South Beach diet, which advocates mostly meat and vegetables. I lost some weight (maybe 25 pounds?) and I felt somewhat better. Suddenly, like magic, I got pregnant. But I was still frequently sick after I ate and I couldn’t figure out why. I really was trying to eat what I thought was “well”. I had a lot of vegetables, fruit and lean meat in there. I cut out sweets for the most part. I had not stopped eating wheat, however. Whole grains were supposedly a healthy part of any balanced diet…right?

My symptoms continued to worsen over time. Soon I felt tired most of the day, every day. When I was paying attention to myself, I realized that a lot of the time my body just hurt. Most days were sprinkled with a nice little “PMS glaze” all over them, regardless of my actual female cycle. I was randomly moody for no reason at all. Often sad. Bummed out just because. Stress came easy and over things that normally wouldn’t matter. I began to have an increasingly harder and harder time falling asleep at night.

In the shower, I noticed my hair began pooling around the drain more and more. I started to develop thinned areas where I could see my scalp if I tried to wear my hair pinned up, so I never did. Eventually I began cutting it, and then cutting it shorter and shorter. As it continued to come out, finally I just said, “F— it,” and went to a wig store.

glutenface

My face on gluten.

My face also started to break out in what began as pimples. Adult acne. Freakin’ great. But then they mutated to something worse than acne — large red welts that made washing my face a delicate, painstaking process because touching my skin hurt as if it had been burned.

(Interestingly, both my shampoo and conditioner contained hydrolyzed wheat protein and my breakouts lined up with the shape of my haircut. Hm…)

I never wanted to eat anymore but obviously if we don’t eat, we die, so I had no choice. I also got sick all the time…constantly coming down with sinus infections…upper respiratory infections…ear infections. Blood tests kept coming back with vitamin deficiencies, even though my doc had me on a huge vitamin D dose that I had to pick up from behind the pharmacy counter.

I know now my body was starved for nutrition, which could explain why I always felt hungry even though I was eating what by the average person would seem like it should be a decent diet and faithfully taking my vitamins (wrong on both counts, but that’s a different article).

I was on seven different prescription medications for all manner of issues across the spectrum, and my doctor was about to diagnose me with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and prescribe me yet something else on top of it all. I had already spiraled down into the dark hole of modern medicine. I couldn’t discern what side effects were what anymore. Even without being all doped up, I felt like I was losing my mind — a barely there zombie sleepwalking through my life instead of actually living it.

…and I wasn’t even 30 years old.

Finally one day I said, no f’n more. I sat down at a computer and didn’t get up all night except to pee. I didn’t sleep. I read, I researched. I would find the answer or die trying.

That’s how I came across gluten intolerance and Celiac disease. All my symptoms — every single one — was listed. Then it hit me. What I was eating was wrecking my whole life.

The next day, I made an appointment and went into my doctor’s office with a printed off stack of scientific studies the size of a dictionary, highlighted and underlined. I knew the blood test for the anti-gliadin antibodies was costly (it was over $300 at the time and insurance didn’t cover it), but I was determined to make my case for it anyway.

I remember the moment my doctor told me in her snarkiest voice reserved for rogue patients, “I don’t let my patients diagnose themselves over the Internet” — a response to her turning down my request for the ridiculously expensive blood test I was willing to pay out-of-pocket for. “Fine,” I replied as I stood up to walk out, “then I’m getting another doctor.”

Why? Because it’s not normal for 30-year-olds to just fall apart, to have more “disorders” than fingers, or to be on more medications than a nursing home patient with one foot in the grave.

My quality of living at that point was near zero. It was actually explained to me that, due to all my supposed “chemical imbalances,” I would just have to accept the fact that I would probably need to be on all of these medications for the rest of my life.

MORE>>

 

The Great American Grocery Hoax Tags: Activism GMO food

By Daisy Luther

Nutritional Anarchy

There is a big secret out there in the grocery store aisles that no one wants you to know.  There is a hoax of monumental proportions that is being perpetrated on the American public.

Before I tell you what it is, let me remind you of some things that you already know.

It’s no secret at all that the American economy is in dire straits. Unemployment has skyrocketed and today’s dollars buy a lot less than the dollars of just a few years ago. Even the most thrifty shopper will pay substantially more for a cart full of groceries.  To make matters worse, our country’s main food-producing areas have been devastated by droughts, and you can expect that prices will only go up from here.

So people work for slave wages, if they can find work at all, then go to the grocery store and buy what they can afford.  And that is where the secret comes in.

The secret is:

The stuff sold there is not actually food.

Nutritional Anarchy has posted a couple of videos recently about the massive number of ingredients in inexpensive processed food items.  You can learn about what is contained in a Hungry Man Homestyle Dinner HERE and about the gastronomical delights that 48 cents will buy you HERE.

If you’ve ever been broke, you can easily see how a “meal” for a couple of dollars or less would be an appealing addition to a grocery cart.

But here is the scary epiphany:

The stuff sold there is not actually food.

I guess this depends on one’s definition of the word “food”.

Dictionary.com says “food” is:

any nourishing substance that is eaten,

drunk, or otherwise taken into the body to sustain life,

provide energy, promote growth, etc.

Merriam-Webster says “food” is:

 material consisting essentially of protein, carbohydrate, and fat used in the body of an organism to sustain growth, repair, and vital processes and to furnish energy; also :  such food together with supplementary substances (as minerals, vitamins, and condiments)

The Oxford Dictionary says “food” is:

any nutritious substance that people or animals eat or drink, or that plants absorb, in order to maintain life and growth

Traditionally…and by traditionally I mean ever since there were humans on the planet eating stuff…food came from one of these sources: plants or animals.  It has been hunted, gathered, foraged, cultivated, and farmed.

But now these substances are being created in a lab environment. From purely synthetic ingredients, compounds are formed.  Sometimes a bit of the original food is present, perhaps a small bit of meat or vegetable or grain, and that item is stretched with chemicals to turn it into a food-like substance. The substance is shaped to look like food. It is artificially colored and molded into forms like some kind of semi-edible play-dough.  Then scents and flavors, also artificial, are added.  This makes the substances resemble food even more because now it tastes and smells like food.

Because it isn’t immediately lethal to ingest, those noble guardians at the FDA slap a label on it that the substance is GRAS – Generally Recognized As Safe.

Then the substance is placed into little plastic trays, foil, bags, or cellophane. That is placed inside a box with an illustration on the outside. The illustration looks like the food that the substance inside all of the packaging is supposed to taste like.  Perhaps it is a juicy roast beef dinner with mashed potatoes, savory gravy, and carrots.  Your brain processes this visual stimuli and expects that the substance contained within is indeed “food.”

But it isn’t.

It’s a scam.  People go to the store to buy food, but they are sold something else, something that only pretends to be food.

The stuff sold there is not actually food.

Only a tiny fraction of the contents of that box is actually food. Your ancestors would not recognize this as food at all.  If you dare to eat this, you are consuming a food substitute that is being passed off to you because there is no food left for the likes of us.  Most of what is being sold in the grocery store is NOT ACTUALLY FOOD. It is food-like substances. It is a pile of chemicals masquerading as food to satiate hunger and deceive those who consume it into believing that they are eating food and ingesting nutrients.

Did you ever see the movie Soylent Green? In the movie, the futuristic over-populated world no longer can provide food for the population.  Instead processed food-like substances are rationed out to keep people alive.  Initially, there was Soylent Yellow and Soylent Red, but then, a new product, Soylent Green, became available in limited quantities. The actual source of Soylent Green is a closely guarded secret: no one is allowed to know what is actually in it.  Consumers are deceived with some scientific sounding descriptions until the awful truth comes out.

Does this sound familiar?

While Soylent Green was actually made from ground up humans (sorry, spoiler), the origins of what is being sold in our groceries stores today are no less mysterious or closely guarded.  Soylent Green was so delectable to the unknowing public that they would commit heinous crimes to get more.  The food-like substances in the grocery stores are loaded with processed white sugar (which actually has addictive properties similar to heroin), high fructose corn syrup, and MSG, which stimulates the production of hunger hormones, giving a whole new meaning to that fun slogan, “Bet you can’t eat just one.”  If you eat this stuff,you will be hooked because they want you to be hooked.  You will be perfectly content feeding your addiction instead of nourishing your body.  You won’t even MISS actual food.  The next generation may not even know what actual food IS at the rate these processed concoctions are filling pantries and refrigerators in homes across the country. Those with lower incomes are particularly targeted by this, because unless you are making good money, it’s nearly impossible to purchase nourishing, whole foods.

I’ll give you a hint: if it is sold in a box and it has more ingredients than you have fingers, it probably isn’t food by any accepted definition.

It might keep you alive, but it will not keep you nourished and healthy.

Big Food doesn’t really care if you die from eating this stuff, as long as you don’t keel over immediately – then they’d be liable.  They don’t care if you develop cancer or if you are malnourished.  That actually just helps out their buddies at Big Pharma.  Then they can go play golf together on the proceeds.

There is a conspiracy afoot and you can find evidence of the massive deception as close as your nearest grocery store, fast food establishment, or corner store.  They are selling poisonous artificial food, and people are happily paying them for it.

Commit Nutritional Anarchy.

Rebel.  Just say no to food-like substances.  Declare war on Big Food.

  • Refuse to eat these products that are flavored with brain-cell killing neurotoxins that tickle the pleasure centers in your brain and make you want more.
  • Grow what you can – no matter how little, it is going to be better and healthier than what you’ll get at the store
  • Buy ingredients instead of “meals” in a box.
  • Cook from scratch.
  • Visit your farmer’s markets or local farms.  (Find one near you HERE)
  • Learn what to eat when you’re broke – make the best choices when you are on a tight budget.
  • Build a whole-food pantry

This article first appeared at Nutritional Anarchy

 

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