Health & Wellness News you can use.
By Dr. Mercola
If you are for some reason choosing between rotisserie chicken and a hot dog, it turns out, surprisingly, that the hot dog may be the better option. That’s because hot dogs, and similar meats such as pepperoni and deli meats, are relatively free of carcinogenic compounds.
A study examined a number of ready-to-eat meat products for the presence of heterocyclic amines (HCAs). HCAs can increase your risk of stomach, colon and breast cancers.
According to MSNBC:
Pepperoni had the least HCA content … followed by hot dogs and deli meat … Fully cooked bacon … and rotisserie chicken meat … contained all five types of HCAs tested. Rotisserie chicken skin had significantly higher HCA levels”.
Meat Science June 2011; 88(2): 227-233
Time Magazine March 28 2011
You might have missed the media headlines last month which extolled hotdogs as better for you than chicken. If you click on the Time Magazine link above you can get a taste of this nonsense. This is a perfect example of how taking too narrow-minded a view can lead you astray from the truth about what’s healthy and what’s not.
Here, the researchers measured several different types of meats for levels of heterocyclic amines (HCAs), and because hot dogs and pepperoni happened to have lower levels of HCAs than rotisserie chicken, MSNBC leapt to the conclusion that these processed meats are better for you because they’re “relatively free of carcinogenic compounds.”
They’re just relatively lower in ONE type of carcinogenic compound!
But hot dogs and other processed meats contain OTHER compounds that put them squarely on the list of foods to avoid or eliminate entirely…
Heterocyclic amines, or HCAs, are compounds created in meats and other foods that have been cooked at high temperatures. The worst part of the meat is the blackened section, which is why you should always avoid charring your meat, and never eat charred sections.
Studies have shown that humans who consume large amounts of HCAs have increased risk of stomach, colon and breast cancers.
But HCAs aren’t the only cancer-causing chemicals created during cooking. A couple of other well-known compounds include:
• Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAHs): Many processed meats are smoked as part of the curing process, which causes PAHs to form. PAH’s can also form when grilling. When fat drips onto the heat source, causing excess smoke, and the smoke surrounds your food, it can transfer cancer-causing PAHs to the meat.
• Advanced Glycation End Products (AGEs): When food is cooked at high temperatures—including when it is pasteurized or sterilized—it increases the formation of AGEs in your food. AGEs build up in your body over time leading to oxidative stress, inflammation and an increased risk of heart disease, diabetes and kidney disease.
In this particular study, published in the June issue of Meat Science, researchers specifically measured the HCA content of a variety of meats and found they contained the following amounts of this cancer-causing compound:
• Pepperoni–0.05 ng/g
• Hot dogs and deli meats–0.5 ng/g
• Fully cooked bacon–1.1 ng/g
• Rotisserie chicken–1.9 ng/g
• Rotisserie skin–16.3 ng/g
Clearly, when it comes to HCAs, the skin of rotisserie chicken is one of the worst culprits, so the advice to remove the skin is a good one. However, although they admit that other ready-to-eat processed meats contain lower HCA levels because they are enhanced with “a water solution with flavoring added to them,” MSNBC fails to add that these added ingredients make processed meats far from healthful.
You simply cannot judge the danger of a food by its HCA content alone, which is based on the manner in which its been cooked. You also have to evaluate all those added ingredients, such as preservatives, flavoring, and food colors.
Virtually all processed meats contain another well-known carcinogen: sodium nitrite. It’s a commonly used preservative and antimicrobial agent that also adds color and flavor to processed and cured meats. Hot dogs, deli meats and bacon are notorious for their nitrite content, so even though they might be low in HCA’s, they are far from healthful.
Nitrites can be converted into nitrosamines in your body, which are potent cancer-causing chemicals. Research has linked nitrites to higher rates of colorectal-, stomach- and pancreatic cancer.
Needless to say, should you choose to char your hot dog on the grill instead of heating it up in the microwave (which is what these researchers did) then you’d have both nitrites and HCA’s to contend with from that hot dog.
The truth is, processed meats are not a healthful choice for anyone and should be avoided entirely, according to a recent review of more than 7,000 clinical studies examining the connection between diet and cancer! The report was commissioned by The World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF) using money raised from the general public. Therefore the findings were not influenced by any vested interests, which makes it all the more reliable.
It’s the biggest review of the evidence ever undertaken, and it confirms previous findings: Processed meats increase your risk of cancer, especially bowel cancer, and NO amount of processed meat is “safe.” A previous analysis by the WCRF found that eating just one sausage a day raises your risk of developing bowel cancer by 20 percent!
Other studies have also found that processed meats increase your risk of:
• Colon cancer by 50 percent
• Bladder cancer by 59 percent
• Stomach cancer by 38 percent
• Pancreatic cancer by 67 percent
And that’s not all.
Hot dogs, bacon, salami and other processed meats may also increase your risk of diabetes by 50 percent, and lower your lung function and increase your risk of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
People who eat processed meats regularly also tend to eat fewer vegetables than others, which likely only compounds any health risks.
So what’s the moral of this story?
Don’t jump to conclusions based on piecemeal reporting. The overall evidence is actually pretty cut-and-dry: processed meats will raise your cancer risk and should be avoided as much as possible. So, don’t believe you’re eating healthier by switching from grilled chicken to hot dogs and other processed meats.
Now, if you are going to eat hot dogs or other processed meats once in awhile, here are a few shopping tips to reduce their harmful health effects:
• Look for “uncured” varieties that contain NO nitrates
• Choose varieties that say 100% beef, 100% chicken, etc. This is the only way to know that the meat is from a single species and does not include byproducts (like chicken skin or chicken fat or other parts)
• Avoid any meat that contains MSG, high-fructose corn syrup, preservatives, artificial flavor or artificial color
• Ideally, purchase sausages and other processed meats from a small, local farmer who you can ask about the ingredients
Again, these are still not ideal as they’re still processed, but they are better than the vast majority of processed meats on the market.
Now, if you want to eat truly healthful meat, make sure the meat is organic and grass-fed (preferably from a local farmer). Chickens should be organic, pastured chickens. This is an essential requirement healthy meat.
Meats from conventional Animal Feeding Operations (AFOs) are loaded with pesticides, hormones, antibiotics and other chemicals and should be avoided entirely.
To counteract some of the harmful effects of cooking, add homemade spice rubs, herb-enhanced marinades or even fresh blueberries to your meat prior to cooking it. This will not only impart added health benefits but will also help cut down on the harmful substances formed!
Better yet, use the same spice rubs and marinades, but eat the meat only lightly cooked or raw. Keep in mind though that when eating your meat raw, it’s IMPERATIVE that the meat is organically raised and grass-fed. Never eat conventional CAFO meats raw as – CAFO raised meats typically come from very unhealthy animals that can harbor dangerous infectious agents.
Be sure to get your spine checked regularly to make sure your nervous system is working properly. Allowing your body the best opportunity to recognize toxins and eliminate them before they can cause problems.
Dr. Kolarik practices in Travelers Rest, SC at Kolarik Family Chiropractic. Also serving Greer, Taylors, Marietta, Slater, and North Greenville. Dr. Kolarik offer affordable plans for individuals and families.
The following is a post from ChiroAcess April 19, 2011.
“Two research studies generated by the medical profession this year add evidence in support of the value of chiropractic maintenance care.
The first study published in January 2011 in Spine concluded that “SMT is effective for the treatment of chronic non specific LBP. To obtain long-term benefit, this study suggests maintenance spinal manipulations after the initial intensive manipulative therapy.”
The second study in April 2011, published in the Journal of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, provides additional support for the value of chiropractic maintenance care for post injury low back pain patients. The study followed 894 injured workers for a period of one year. During that year there were four different types of therapy available to the workers: medical management, physical therapy,chiropractic, and no therapy. Episodes of repeat disability were recorded during the year following the initial injury. Physical therapy had the highest percentage of re-injured workers followed by those receiving medical management or no treatment at all. The lowest incidence of repeat injury was found among those workers who had received chiropractic maintenance care.
The results of published surveys given to chiropractors have documented the profession’s belief in the value of maintenance care. Furthermore, during the last decade there have been a dozen peer reviewed papers on the subject. There are far more questions to be answered, but it is heartening to see medical research corroborate the studies and beliefs of the chiropractic profession.”
For more information visit Kolarik Family Chiropractic.
Dr. Tom Kolarik practices at Kolarik Family Chiropractic in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, SC, also serving Greer, Marietta, Slater, Taylors, and North Greenville. Dr. Kolarik offers quality, conservative, gentle, chiropractic care. Kolarik Family Chiropractic offers Unlimited and Wellness plans for both individuals and families. Walk-ins are welcome.
Recently I attended a large public awareness and fundraising event. While I enjoyed the event’s entertainment I was also pleasantly surprised that they allowed a Chiropractor to set up. But, after watching him off and on while we were enjoying the music and food I was in a state of shock at what I saw. This chiropractor was doing exactly the same thing to everybody he adjusted at this event. Not once did this chiropractor palpate the spine or preform any of the many simple checks he could have done that may have indicated the presence of a subluxation. Everybody he “adjusted” (I am using this term very loosely) received five moves. First he had them lay face down and he would push down in three (not two or four) locations, second he would have them lay on their right side and he would crack their low back then roll them onto their left side and crack their low back, then he would them lay on their back and he would crack their neck to the right then he would crack their neck to the left. I say crack because he certainly was not adjusting a subluxation nor was he, in my opinion, practicing chiropractic. This chiropractor is doing a great disservice to my chosen profession. Really it made me sick to think about how much damage he did to the recipients of his free “adjustment.”
If your chiropractor “adjusts” you like this you need a new chiropractor. Chiropractic is specific or it is nothing.
Let me ask you a question. If your chiropractor moves a vertebra one direction, does it make any sense at all for him to immediately move it back? The answer is a resounding NO.
True Chiropractic doctors examine your spine looking for spinal misalignment. A misalignment in the spine can cause an interference with the information carried by the nerves exiting the spine at that particular level. This interference decreases the body’s ability to adapt, decreases immune function, and a whole host of other problems.
Specific chiropractic spinal adjustments help to restore misaligned bones to a more normal position thus improving spinal function. Allowing soft tissue to heal, inflammation to go down, pain to ease, and improving spinal stability.
A real chiropractic adjustment is specific. It is not twisting and popping back and forth, to the right and then to the left.
Chiropractors gently correct the problem by using a broad range of adjusting methods. By correcting subluxations and restoring proper nerve flow, chiropractors help people enjoy more of their full potential for health and optimal performance. It’s about helping people of all ages – from infancy to active senior living – to enjoy better health under chiropractic care.
Dr. Tom Kolarik practices at Kolarik Family Chiropractic in Travelers Rest, South Carolina, SC. Dr. Kolarik offers gentle, conservative chiropractic services in the Travelers Rest and surrounding area. Dr. Tom offers affordable individual and family plans.