Dispelling nutrition myths, ranting, and occasionally, raving


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Just because an account has a blue checkmark doesn’t mean it knows all

I don’t follow this twitter account but after a seeing a retweet of this (fortunately not in a complimentary manner):

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Yes, many of us have experienced workouts where we felt like we were going to vomit. However, that’s no reason to push your body beyond its limits. Listen to your body. Enjoy exercise!

I had to peruse the timeline… I found an interesting mix of decent advice and misinformation. Here are just a few of the worst offenders I found in a quick scroll:

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There is nothing wrong with using butter sparingly. Yes, extra virgin olive oil is a healthy choice. However, at high temperatures it breaks down, making it less healthy for us. Also, consuming too much of any type of fat (or food) ignores one of the most important edicts of a healthy diet: variety.

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Again, red meat can be a part of a healthy diet. But… It doesn’t have to be. We should consume a variety of sources of protein and red meat is wholly unnecessary.

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Common myth. Previously written about here.


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Cancer-killing celery

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I was reading this article touting the benefits of celery for “fighting off pancreatic cancer” and naturally I wondered about the veracity of this news. I managed to get my hands (well, eyes) on a copy of the research on which the news article was based. It seems that very little of the news article was based on the actual research.

The study looked at the effect of two flavonoids: Apigenin (Api) and Luteolin (Lut) on the proliferation of pancreatic cancer cells in petri-dishes. While the news article states that eating plenty of celery can prevent cancer, the authors were examining the effects of the flavonoids on existing cancer cells so there’s not really cause to say that eating foods containing these substances will actually prevent cancer (although, eating a rainbow of fruits and vegetables is certainly advisable to obtain many health benefits). That being said, the authors found that both Api and Lut inhibited growth and proliferation of tumor cells. The greatest benefit was seen when the flavonoids were administered to the cancer cells 24 hours prior to treatment with a chemotherapy. When the flavonoids were administered at the same time as the chemotherapy there was actually a decrease in effectiveness of the treatments.

The authors do not mention celery until the very end of the journal article. In the conclusion they state that:

Api is abundantly present in oranges, grapefruit, parsley,
onions, wheat sprouts and chamomile tea. 

Rich sources of Lut include apple skins, parsley, celery, broccoli, onion leaves, carrots, peppers, cabbages and chrysanthemum
flowers.

It’s hard to say how much celery (or other fruits and vegetables) you would have to eat to get an effective dose of Luteolin.

While this research does provide some hope that there may be cancer-fighting properties to every-day vegetables and fruits it doesn’t mean that you should run out and eat bushels of celery to ward-off pancreatic cancer. For now, eat at least five servings of vegetables and fruits every day and try to consume a wide variety.

 


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Celery

Apparently it’s National Fresh Celery Month. I don’t believe I’ve blogged about celery before so what the heck. Although I must admit the addition of “fresh” throws me off a little. It’s not like we’re going to have a national “wilted” celery month. Anyway… To the point…

Celery is often viewed as a mere vehicle for dips and spreads. However, it does have its own merits. One medium stalk of celery contains only 6 calories. It’s got 16 mg of calcium, 104 mg of potassium, 14 mcg of folate, 0.6 g of fibre, and a refreshing 38 g of moisture.

Of course, this got me thinking about the common belief that it takes more calories to digest a stalk of celery than the stalk contains. I don’t have the scientific capabilities to debunk this. Fortunately, others do, and have done so. That being said, filling up on a healthy low-calorie food can be beneficial if you’re trying to lose weight.