Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Sprayed/Gassed Almonds and Prostate Cancer

Before following up with the second part of the Sugar Posts… I want to publish this short article about the dangers of Sprayed PPO Almonds and Prostate Cancer.

Many do not know it, but with a large portion of the Almonds eaten daily, you’re consuming what once was an additive to racing fuel. Yuck! It all started back in 2001 and 2004 in California where most of the US almonds are grown. During those years there were two outbreaks of salmonella and 33 people became ill with no one dying. As a result the Almond Board of California panicked and asked the USDA to mandate pasteurization. In 2007 the USDA mandated that all Almonds grown in California be pasteurized using one of the following processes.
                        • Oil Roasting                                     Cooks Nuts, adds unhealthy oils
                        • Dry Roasting                                    Cooks Nuts
                        • Blanching                                         Cooks Nuts
                        • Steam Treating                                 Partially Cooks Nuts
                        • PPO (propylene oxide) gassed         Racing Fuel!
Almonds labeled as Organic by definition are not gassed and most likely steam treated. Most non-organic almonds, because of the lower cost factor of spraying, are usually sprayed with PPO. The manufacturers are not required to place on the product label how they are pasteurized, if they were sprayed, or even partially cooked. Sprayed and steamed almonds still are allowed to be labeled as ‘raw’.

Here’s why PPO gassed almonds are so dangerous. PPO is one of the most dangerous chemicals around. If fact it is so dangerous, it was banned by both the National Hot Rod Association and the American Motorcycle Association. Though many no longer use it as a racing fuel additive, it is still used in brake and hydraulic automotive systems. The reason it was banned is because the EPA has declared PPO a carcinogenic chemical. Even fumes from PPO are a danger to human health. Neurological, gastrointestinal, respiratory, immune system dysfunctions, and liver disease are all symptoms of being exposed to PPO. It’s no wonder that Mexico, Canada and the entire European Union have banned the use of PPO. Of course those who gass almonds with PPO say there are only trace amounts left on the almonds and because of that it’s OK. Think of all the almonds you eat, now think of how each small bit of PPO accumulates in your tissues over the years. Then ask yourself; do you really want to be adding this kind of carcinogen to your diet?

Steamed almonds as well have their own set of concerns. Even though they may be labeled as raw, they are really partially cooked. These almonds are hit with steam at around 160º F. It is believed that any temperature above 118º F will destroy much of the nutritional value of the almond. There are a few organic sources that have developed a more complex steam process that assures the almond will still be able to germinate, demonstrating that only part of the nutrition is lost in the process. Then one needs to consider that heat applied to almonds creates harmful levels of acrylamide. This chemical is known to cause cancer and reproductive toxicity. Lastly there is the issue of partially cooked oils in the almond. Some suggest the steaming process reduces the shelf life of the almonds, causing the natural oils to go rancid that much quicker.

As a side note concerning almonds, one cup of almonds contains only 5.7mg of Omega-3 fatty acids and a whopping 11,462mg of Omega-6 fatty acids. As a comparison, one cup of really raw macadamia nuts contains 276mg of Omega-3 fatty acids with 1,737mg of Omega-6 fatty acids; a much better ratio.

How does this relate to Prostate Cancer? Simple, the less carcinogenic compounds you put into your body, and the more high-quality, high nutrient foods you consume, the faster you will heal. Remember when your body becomes overwhelmed with outside toxins, cancer will develop and grow. So what do you do regarding almonds? First, if you love to eat them, eat only ‘organic’ almonds that are free of PPO. Better yet, consider Italian almonds that are neither gassed with PPO or heat treated. Also if you live next to an almond farmer, you may purchase untreated small quantities directly at the farm. 

As you shop, you also need to be more conscious of your purchases. Almonds are in much of the snack food your currently eat. If there is a particular product you can’t do without, write the manufacturer and make sure the almonds used are not gassed with PPO. As of this posting, almonds known to be gassed with PPO include such brands as: Costco Kirkland Signature, Diamond of California, Blue Diamond Whole, Superior Nut Company non-organic, Country Life non-organic, and Nut Thins. Almond sources known to be steamed include: Planters, Whole Foods 365, Back to Nature, Trader Joes, and almond butters such as Maranatha, Arrowhead Mills, Kettle, Justin's. Remember, it’s your life, contact the supplier and do the research yourself, verify everything, and make good choices.

Do you stop eating almonds entirely, or do you go steamed organic? The choice is yours. Personally I choose to snack on macadamia nuts as a healthier food.

Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Nutrition and Cancer – Part 3 - Deadly Sugars

Is sugar killing America? Many believe so! Obesity, diabetes and cancer, directly related to sugar consumption, are out of control. At current rates it’s projected by 2030 that more that 60% of adults will be obese in 13 key states, and over 44% of adults will be obese in all 50 states. It is estimated Americans spend between $147 Billion to $210 Billion per year on medical related issues connected to obesity. Even worse, obesity has more than doubled in children, and quadrupled in adolescents over the past 30 years. In 2012 more than one third of all children and adolescents were overweight or obese. 

Equally grim facts exist for diabetes. From 1980 to 2011 the number of Americans with diagnosed diabetes has more than tripled. There are over 25.8 million Americans with diabetes and an additional 79 million Americans over the age of 20 with pre-diabetes. That’s beyond a third of adult Americans directly affected by diabetes. The estimated treatment cost associated with diabetes is staggering at over $245 Billion. Add to this the emerging epidemic of diabetes in young children and you have a recipe for disaster. It’s no wonder why some are saying this may be the first generation of children to die before their parents. Considering the devastation from obesity and diabetes alone, many are questioning whether America will survive the economic outlay for medical treatment, while still finding enough healthy individuals to fill basic jobs, including safety and military positions. Want to know the real definition of stupidity? In the interest of saving a few jobs that could easily be retrained, and securing the re-election war chests of elected officials, each year our government continues to subsidize sugar production and corn (high fructose corn syrup) rather than subsidize healthy organic foods such as organic fruit and leafy green vegetables.

Certainly we don’t need to worry about terrorists when we are doing everything to kill ourselves as fast as possible. In fact it would be much more effective for terrorists to simply flood the market with cheap candy and soft drinks if they really want to speed the downfall of America. Oh, I forgot, we’re doing that already.

To understand why we’re in this pickle, all we need do is take a look at the history of sugar and sweetener use in America. In 1822 the average sugar per capita consumption was only 9 pounds. Prior to this time added sugar was not a significant factor in recorded history. By 1900, sugar consumption had risen to 90 pounds per capita, and in 1920 that became 100 pounds. In 1978 high fructose corn syrup entered the market, and by 1980 obesity began its rise from 12.7% to 27.7% of Americans by the year 2000. In 1997 diabetes, already on the rise, began a dramatic increase. With the addition of HFCS, total sweetener consumption just kept increasing. By the year 2000 our added sweetener consumption had risen to 152 pounds per capita. The pattern is clear. Increased added sugar consumption contributes to increased obesity and diabetes.

So why are we eating so much sugar? Simple, it’s addictive. One study showed that Oreo Cookies with their sugar and fat were more addictive than cocaine and morphine. The Oreos actually activated more neurons in the brains pleasure and reward centers than the drugs. Now we know that addiction has both biological and behavioral components, and in our high stress environment sugar appears to fit the bill for both components. Sugar is added to most every processed food we eat. From so-called healthy breads, to cereals and energy bars, to even tomato sauce, it’s everywhere. When we try to go off sugar, we often experience real symptoms of withdrawal, like when trying to eliminate nicotine of caffeine. Then there’s the taste factor. During the ill-advised political push to make foods ‘fat free’, food processors found that no fat made food taste like cardboard, hence they add more sugar and salt to sell more product.

So ask yourself, what do obesity and diabetes have in common with Prostate Cancer? We just chatted about one part of the relationship under the heading of Nutrition and Cancer-Part 2-Inflammation. It’s called ‘Silent Inflammation’. How do you expect your body to fight an emerging cancer when all its resources are focused on just trying to keep your overweight, insulin resistant body alive? Now consider the toxic factor of sugar. In a 2013 article Robert Lustig, M.D. states, “Sugar in excess is a toxin, unrelated to its calories. The dose determines the poison. Like alcohol, a little sugar is fine, but a lot is not. And the food industry has put us way over our limit." He goes on to say, “When you do the math, fully one-quarter of the world's diabetes is explained by sugar alone”; and “the increase in sugar consumption over the past 30 years paralleled the increase in obesity, diabetes and heart disease.” According to Doctor Lustig fructose, a large part of sugars is only metabolized in the liver, which quickly becomes overwhelmed by the excessive amount. The liver then turns the excessive fructose directly into fat, becoming insulin resistant in the process, causing insulin levels to spike. This in turn causes more food to be stored as fat, making more insulin resistance, decreasing liver function, allowing more toxins to be stored in the body, driving greater inflammation throughout the body, and opening the path for cancer. As inflammation increases in the body it causes the loss of protective antioxidants. As toxins are increased by an overwhelmed liver and poor diet, infections begin to increase. This causes the body to release oxygen and nitrogen radicals to fight the infections and bacteria. Without protective antioxidants these same radicals go on to damage normal DNA, causing cancer growth to begin. By this process it’s suggested that inflammation and oxidation play key roles in development of prostate cancer. According to Lewis Cantley, director of the Cancer Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center at Harvard Medical School, as much as 80 percent of all cancers are “driven by either mutations or environmental factors that work to enhance or mimic the effect of insulin on the incipient tumor cells.” His research has shown that refined sugar stimulates the growth of cancer cells into tumors, and then larger tumors.

To sum up, at the May 21, 2014 of the 109th Annual Scientific Meeting of the American Urological Association a study was presented stating that having two or more metabolic syndrome components including: obesity, high blood pressure, elevated fasting blood sugar (>100), high fasting insulin (>5), low HDL (good) cholesterol (<40), high triglycerides (>150), or fatty liver, and storing fat primarily in the belly, was associated with an increased risk of high-grade prostate cancer. Considering obesity, diabetes, insulin spikes and inflammation, the connection between Prostate Cancer and Sugar is abundantly clear. 

Of course, once you have Prostate Cancer sugars secondary role is to feed the cancer. One recent study confirms prostate cancer cells have a much higher demand for glucose over healthy cells, and that chronically elevated blood glucose, insulin, and insulin-like growth factors stimulate prostate cancer growth while worsening the outcome in patientsAnother study published in 2011 found that lower carbohydrate diets slowed tumor growth. Both these studies confirm that reducing sugars and processed carbs could slow the growth of cancer giving the body a better chance for healing. 

Next, lets take a look a where all this sugar in our diet is coming from, what types of sugars may be worse or better than others, surprising sources of sugars, artificial sweeteners and cancer promotion, and acceptable sweeteners for Prostate Cancer Survivors. Much more to follow.

Looking for more help and support?
Go to: