The Meal Matters Most

What Makes Healthy Food Healthy: From a Stress Perspective


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Thirteen Ways to Keep Free Radicals Away, and Why It’s So Important —

Manal Elfakhani wrote . . . . . . The holiday season is in full swing, and with it comes time for family celebration while gathering around tables full of delicious foods with seasonal spices! But it can also be a stressful time of year, with substantial meal preparation as well as stress in the […]

via Thirteen Ways to Keep Free Radicals Away, and Why It’s So Important — Cooking with Kathy Man

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Is Honey not Healthy? A Rebuttal to the Recent Science.

Recent headlines highlight a study conducted by the USDA investigating if honey has the same negative health impacts as sugar and high fructose corn syrup.  The study by Dr. Susan K. Raatz concludes that any source of sugar will have the same health impact; that sugar is sugar. An article discussing the study was published in the Washington Post by reporter Peter Whoriskey entitled “Honey isn’t as healthy as we think”.  Subsequent articles followed with headlines such as “Honey just as bad as high-fructose corn sweetener” and “A New Study Comes Down Hard on Honey“, among dozens of others from SHAPE, Women’s Health to reposting’s on facebook and twitter by the Kitchn and even writer David Lebovitz. That was enough. Continue reading


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Is Obesity a Disease? An Analogy to Autism

Rosie O’Donnell on a recent episode of “The View” shared her experience with a near fatal heart attack and its association with her obesity. Rosie has since had surgery to address her obesity, which she refers to as the disease that caused her heart problems, health problems and almost destroyed her life. However, is obesity a disease?

This is a tricky concept. The way Rosie and her doctor spoke about it on the show was a little off to me. That obesity causes heart disease and diabetes. I don’t think its quite that linear, direct or simple. And it begs the question what is causing obesity? Continue reading


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Is Cancer Random? Or can “bad luck” be defined by Stress Mechanisms?

Several articles have popped up in major News, Medical and University sites about Cancer with headlines such as “Random gene mutations primary cause of cancer” and “Bad luck, not genes or the environment, cause for many cancers, researchers find“.

The most provocative aspect of the study by Tomasetti and Vogelstein is not what is causing cancer, we know that certain environmental carcinogens like smoking can be responsible for cancer. Rather its that we just learned definitively that most cancers are not coming from direct and line Continue reading


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How do you classify “good food”?

A recent question “What exactly is good food?”:

Here’s my reply…

For me I take the philosophy of a “stress approach” and systems (it depends on the system) approach to good food. So  fats/sugars can be physiologically stressful, so balance those main (high quality sourced) macronutrients (meat-carb-fat) with quality micronutrients (whole fruit, vegetables, herbs) or traditional sauce condiments that include fermented foods or dairy (probiotic source). This creates a “balanced” meal for our systems that is also delicious!

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Sugar vs fat: Twin Brothers

I find that I love this article about the Twins and the Sugar vs Diet experiment. However for me, what they miss is that a) sugar/fat are fuels that need to be cleaned up (and therefore eaten with nutritional powerhouses and clean-up antioxidant power spices, sauces, condiments etc), when sugar and fat are put together they are like super fuel and b) that process foods imitate healthy combinations of real foods (not choice between health food or “tasty” junk food), because the flavors imitate synergistic qualities of foods that would originally “buffer” the impact of the sugar and fat (ie acids “balance” fat, baking spices “buffer” sugar, tang from fermented foods all attenuate food-induced obesity or metabolic disturbance). Junk food is like an over-extreme source of energy, or jet fuel, a more intense version of energy, but because it’s all “flavoring” and not real foods, processed food is so incredibly damaging.


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Chicken Wings the deep-fried healthy way?

Chicken Wings from Brick House Tavern

Chicken Wings from Brick House Tavern (Photo credit: powerplantop)

I had a challenge on Twitter yesterday about whether I’d be eating (and I think buying a round of) chicken wings in the name of health. Ok, I’ll take that challenge.

Can chicken wings be healthy? Or at least let’s say less unhealthy?

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Do you drink espresso at the end of a meal?

Photo Wikipedia commons

Photo Wikipedia commons

Do you drink coffee or espresso at the end of a meal? You may be glad you do (and stuck to it when others may have told you not to!)

Recent research out of Jerusalem by researchers Sirota and Harris find that the polyphenols in roasted coffee have a protective effect from the byproducts our bodies produce when ingesting meat.

Roasted-ground coffee polyphenols that were found to inhibit lipid peroxidation in stomach medium are 2- to 5-fold more efficient antioxidant than those found in instant coffee.The results obtained in vitro simulated stomach model on MDA accumulation were predictive for the amount of MDA absorbed into circulating human plasma, in vivo. Timing the consumption of coffee during the meals may make it a very active functional food.

Researchers in the past have noticed these same attenuating or buffering aspects from a variety of foods that are the smaller players in the meal from chocolate or classic desserts, the cheese plate after dinner, from salad dressings or from a red wine. There’s a continuity and a beauty to the deliciousness of the pairings in our meals.

Do you like an after-dinner espresso?  Then be confident in your choice and just say YES!

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