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Bad Things That Are Good Again

Some Things That Were Bad for us that are Good Again

Every day we listen to the radio, watch TV or pick up a newspaper we are greeted with the newest and the latest health news. The frustrating part about this news is how changeable it actually is and how things that were good for us yesterday are suddenly bad for us today and other products that were considered bad for us are suddenly considered to be important to our health.

For the last few years women enthusiastically took folic acid supplements to reduce neural tube defects so that would have healthy babies. Then a study this year said that too much folic acid can cause breast cancer. Vitamin E was great for decades until one study said it was not good for us and everybody stopped. Now all the studies since say that Vitamin E is good again. Poor coffee has had its share of ups and downs depending on the month of the study. Eggs are good for us one day and bad the next and alcohol which was so bad for so long is good for us again.

Alcohol

Since the roaring twenties and prohibition alcohol has been treated as a bad substance and never considered to be a product that could make you healthier. When I was a child I used to watch my grandfather take a shot of Seagram’s Three Star whiskey first thing in the morning and when I asked him about it I was told it was for “medicinal reasons.”

During my university years in the mid sixties I was taught that alcohol was a drug and never to be taken with any kind of medication which made all of us students more curious and anxious to drink it on the weekends.

Now today after over one hundred positive studies the results are conclusive: alcohol in moderation reduces heart attacks and strokes by 27 per cent and increases longevity by 29 per cent over people who do not drink alcohol at all. The latest scientific evidence shows that alcohol does this by increasing the amount of HDL cholesterol in our blood stream. The HDL is the good cholesterol that dissolves the excess LDL cholesterol that repairs our oxidative damages.

Before you go the LCBO and start the celebration it is important to know that moderate drinking means one drink a day for a woman and one or two drinks a day for a man. Binge drinkers and those that exceed these amounts will not benefit and will definitely pay the price for excessive alcohol use. One drink is one 9 ounce glass of wine, one bottle of beer or one shot of liquor. Studies show that it does not matter what you consume as long as you do so in moderation. The results are so definitive that the American Medical Association is suggesting that physicians should recommend moderate amounts of alcohol to non-drinkers.

Coffee

In spite of all the bad publicity about the caffeine in coffee and how it may be habit forming and cause migraine headaches almost every study over the last five years has indicated that drinking good organic coffee is very good for you.

Caffeine is a stimulant and helps you to focus. In most European countries young children and teenagers have their shot of espresso before heading off to school. It keeps them focused and alert because it is a stimulant. It is certainly a much safer substance than Ritalin which is actually banned in Europe. Coffee also has other alkaloids, theophylline and theobromine, which relax and open up your bronchials at the same time allowing comfortable breathing for people who have asthma or chronic pulmonary conditions. These alkaloids are so effective that coffee is used to treat apnea in newborn infants to help them breathe better. Like most substances, caffeine in its naturally organically bound form found in coffee or tea is quite good for you as opposed to caffeine in sugary drinks and colas which is synthetic and very harmful to your body.

Caffeine is alkaline in nature and people who prefer their coffee decaffeinated drink coffee that has undergone a chemical process to remove most of the caffeine but which has turned their drink into an acidic substance. That is why decaffeinated coffee is very bad for people who have stomach conditions such as ulcers or gastric reflux.

Eggs

Poor eggs, someone is always trying to give them a bad reputation. The facts are in and eggs are very good for you for the following reasons.

• One egg contains 6 grams of high-quality protein and all 9 essential amino acids

•Eggs are a source of healthy fat. One egg contains just 5 grams

of fat and 1.5gm of that is saturated fat.

•Eggs are one of the only foods that contain naturally occurring Vitamin D

•According to a study by the Harvard School of public Health there is no significant link between egg consumption and heart disease. In fact, according to one study, regular consumption of eggs may help prevent blood clots, stroke and heart attacks.

•New research shows that egg consumption does not have a negative impact on cholesterol. In fact, recent studies show that two eggs a day does not affect your lipid profile and may even improve it.

•Eggs are a good source of choline, an important nutrient that helps regulate the brain, nervous system and cardiovascular system.

• Eggs are good for your eyes. According to one study, an egg a day may prevent macular degeneration due to their carotenoid content, specifically lutein and zeaxanthin, which are more readily absorbed by our bodies from eggs than from other sources.

•Eggs promote healthy hair and nails because of their sulphur content and many other vitamins and minerals.

Always purchase organic free-range eggs. Conventional eggs contain antibiotics and hormones in the United States but only antibiotics in Canada.

Our country does not allow the use of growth hormones in chicken or dairy cattle.

Vitamin E

The medical establishment has been upset about Vitamin E since it was introduced to Canadians by the Shute brothers in the 1960’s. Only one study tried to discredit this natural substance but it proved to be a very flawed study and all subsequent research has shown the d-alpha tocopherol, natural vitamin E is very good for all the muscles of your body, especially the most important one, your heart muscle.

Salt

No matter how you look at it, we all eat too much salt and most of it is hidden in food we would never suspect such as bread and cereal. However a new study has shown that if we increase our potassium we can reduce the bad effects of our salt intake. Potassium rich foods include bananas, oranges, tomatoes, grapefruits, strawberries, potatoes, spinach, broccoli and even meat and poultry.

Fish Oil

I have added this one at the end because it has always been good and is used for brain function, the pain of arthritis, heart protection because it enhances good cholesterol and even cancer prevention. Now a new study has just come out that proves that fish oil is very important for people undergoing chemotherapy. In the particular study 467 patients were undergoing chemotherapy for lung cancer. They were divided into two groups, one of which received a fish oil supplement and the other a placebo. After 3 months, the placebo group lost 20 per cent of the muscle mass and weight from the effects of the drugs. The group that took the fish oil had no loss of muscle mass or weight and some of them even gained a bit of muscle. Another reason to take your fish oil every day.

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