Healthy Never Tasted So Good Chew on This… Cuz That Ain't Right

June 14, 2012

How Can Sourdough Bread Be Healthier than Wheat?

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August 1st is Lamas Day

Aug. 1 is Lamas Day

Like everything else in the commercial world of making money, the push for some time now has been to eat more wheat bread because it is healthier for you. Well, just like the rest of the sheep out there, I was following the Pied Piper right over the proverbial cliff. However, just before getting to the edge and falling into the whole wheat abyss, I stumbled, hit my head and woke up with amnesia. Wondering where I was and how I got there, I began my quest to discover why I was listening to the tune “whole wheat.”

Every where I looked, the information pointed to whole wheat; flakes, cracked, bread, pasta and anything else that the industry thought the consumers would buy. One day I decided to deconstruct the process of making bread which lead me to how to make bread the way it used to be made. Kinda like going back to organic, homestead style.

pumpernickel bread

Pumpernickel Bread

To my surprise, I discovered; “SOURDOUGH AND PUMPERNICKEL IS HEALTHIER THAN WHEAT BREADS.” Would you like to know HOW sourdough bread is healthier than wheat bread?

It comes down to the very beginning process of how it is made and then how it is digested in your body.

First, How it’s made:

Sourdough bread making is centuries old. The process was created for preserving ans storing yeast for long periods. this sourdough starter was kept “alive” as the basis for making loaves of bread for travel or just at home. Believe it or not, some of today’s starters are centuries old  and have been handed down from generation to generation and friend to friend.  Hence, the word used to describe this bread at times as “friendship bread”.  Back to the bread.

You need flour and water  to create an environment for yeast to grow.  yeast is floating in the air all around us and just needs the proper environment to land and grow. Yeast is leavening agent, a single-cell fungus that breaks down the starches in the flour, forming sugar. This is fermentation. When the yeast works on the starch and sugar molecules, it gives off carbon dioxide gas and alcohol that makes the bread rise.

Difference between fresh sourdough bread and average store bought bread:

The big difference between sourdough bread and store bought is the source of the yeast. Most bakers today use pre-packaged yeast.  The yeast has been dried, preserved and formed into a powder. You add flour, water, sugar and salt to the yeast to make a loaf of bread. The water re-activates the yeast fungi, which feeds on the sugar and starch to make the bread rise.

Old fashioned sourdough bread works with yeast in a completely different way. Fresh sourdough yeast fungi are  kept alive continuously a starter medium. You can either capture wild yeast that floats in the air as described above to create starter from scratch or get a cup of active starter from a friend.

It is this  starter that gives sourdough bread its distinctive taste…

Sourdough Starter with Cheese Cloth

Sourdough Starter with Cheese Cloth

The yeast causes a lactic acid fermentation process that not only helps to preserve the sourdough bread, but increases its nutritional value by:

  • pre-digesting starches, making the bread more easily digestible
  • lowering insulin response/improving glucose tolerance
  • protecting Vitamin B1 from the damage of the heat of baking
  • breaking down gluten, which may result in a bread that gluten-sensitive people can eat
  • activating phytase to hydrolyze (dissolve) the phytates, thus freeing up minerals such as:
    • zinc
    • iron
    • magnesium
    • copper
    • phosphorus

Sourdough rye is the most nutritious of them all, because it has more phytase activity and thus even fewer phytates in the finished product to bind to your minerals. I just love that the traditional phrase “sourdough rye” turns out to be scientifically proven as the healthiest bread. Somehow our ancestors figured out all the good stuff without the benefit of labs!

Prof. Terry Graham and his team of researchers at the Department of Human Health and Nutritional Sciences found that eating sourdough bread for breakfast had a profound positive effect on digesting your breakfast as well as on digesting your lunch even though the bread was consumed hours prior.  The enzymes in the bread created during fermentation changes the nature of the starches in the bread, creating a more beneficial bread.  This is is also promising to assist overweight people in losing weight.

According to and article in Keeper of the Home, sourdough bread is rated 68 on the Glycemic Index (GI) whereas other breads are rated 100.

According to Mark Sircus Ac., OMD, International Medical Veritas Association, sourdough bread as “the staff of life,” for it enhances the entire immune system. He further suggests that sourdough bread can stop the growth of cancer without killing it.

REFERENCES:

Health Benefits of  Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Bread Has Most health Benefits

Sourdough Bread and Health

Honest Pumpernickel Bread

 

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

June 12, 2012

Diet Soda… Drink Liquid Poison

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Aspartame_Kid

Aspartame Kid

Recently, one of the students from CSUB asked to shadow me as part of her university course requirements for nutrition. I agreed. Last week, the student shared with me her personal experiences after drinking a diet soda. I asked her to provide me with a writeup as part of her work. She shared with me the article written below and I am submitting the article under guest writer.

Guest Writer: Amanda Anderson, CSUB

Diet soda sounds like heaven on Earth for those who are trying to cut calories. What price would you be willing to pay though to cut a few calories out of your daily caloric intake, especially if you have been told that would help you lose weight when you are overweight?

 A few years ago, I was an avid diet soda drinker thinking that I was making a healthier intelligent choice.  However, when my doctor said that I was dehydrated, I started to drink water and cranberry juice on occasion. For a few years, I mostly drank water and cranberry juice.  I was very surprised to get a better feeling. I felt like I had more energy than I did when I drank all of the caffeine I had consumed with the diet soda.  I continued to drink more water with the occasional cranberry juice because I knew I had to stay hydrated and the water was doing just that. 

Recently, while I was at a friend’s house, this past weekend, she had offered me a diet soda.  Not giving much thought to it at the time,  I figured that one diet soda (12 ounce can) wouldn’t hurt and so I drank it.  As I already said, I had been drinking just water and cranberry juice so a soda might be a welcome change just to have something different.  Within a couple hours I had the worst headache imaginable and for the entire weekend I was nauseous and hungry to the point I could not get satisfied.  For some reason, despite my upset stomach, I felt like I needed to eat and I craved fatty foods.  I would imagine to a lesser degree, this is probably what an addict must go through. It seems as though in that short period of time with just one 12 ounce can, I was addicted. During the weekend, I didn’t think that it was the diet soda, but then after I analyzed what I ate, how I felt and the cravings I had never had before in addition to  all of the food and drinks I had consumed, the soda  was the only variable that had changed from my normal typical diet.  

What are millions of people putting into their bodies? If you have a diet coke bottle around you, read the ingredients. Other than carbonated water, do any of the ingredients sound natural or safe?  Do you know what the ingredients/chemicals are doing to your body? I didn’t think so.  The primary culprit for these reactions in the ingredient list is aspartame, which is linked to many detrimental health effects on the human body especially the brain.  According to certified nutritionist Dr. Janet Hull, aspartame is correlated with 100 side effects, including: confusion, slurring of speech, headaches, dizziness, drowsiness, depression, aggression, difficulty concentrating, insomnia, irritability, nausea, abdominal pain, and peptic ulcers (Livestrong). Hopefully you have lost your craving for diet soda by now. Diet soda is not safe for your body and the only fluid, in my opinion, one should be drinking is water. Water is completely natural and with a splash of lemon juice can also be quite delicious. Enjoy your summer with some ice water and leave the coca cola at the store!

REFERENCES:

Aspartame and Neurological Side Efffects

The Effects of Aspartame on Health

Aspartame – Anxiety, Depression and Suicide Among Children

Aspartame consumption Is Never Safe

Aspartame Causes Birth Defects and Mental Retardation

 

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com and http://www.mamavega.com/blog

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

 

May 22, 2012

Fries… How to Cook Homemade

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There are several foods that autistic individuals are drawn to and even crave with French fries at the top of the list. However, this “can’t live without” vegetable when fried, roasted, grilled or fried at high temperatures creates acrylamides a toxic human carcinogen that is detrimental to the brain. Given autism is a neurological disorder, these fried vegetables inhibit normal brain function resulting in adversely impacting the forward growth and development of the autistic individual.

Here is what you can do to minimize the toxic affects and hopefully transition the individual to more healthy food choices. Try substituting foods that will have similar tastes and textures. In the meantime, follow the destarching and baking instructions below. This is not a quick process, but isn’t the health of you and your loved one worth the time?

This method should be used with high starch vegetables (beans, peas, corn etc) which are usually root vegetables (yams, potatoes, beets, jicama, etc )

Destarching reduces the toxic human carcinogen acrylamides    by 23% by washing, 35% by soaking 30 minutes and 48% by soaking 2 hours.

Below is how to destarch before beginning the cooking process:

  1. Using a vegetable brush and clean water with a few drops of Clorox or vegetable cleaner, scrub the outside of the vegetables,
  2. cut in strips so they resemble French fries,
  3. as you are cutting the strips, place them in a bowl of ice water,
  4. soak in the ice water for twenty (30) minutes,
  5. scoop the vegetables out of this water making sure to leave all this water behind,
  6. put the vegetables in another bowl of clean ice water,
  7. refrigerate for 2 hours making sure the vegetables are covered with cold water,
  8. remove from refrigerator and pat dry,
  9. vegetables are now ready to bake or fry; baking is my recommendation as it is healthier and any acrylamides produced will be half those created by frying provided the baking temperature is less than what you would use in frying.

Cooking:

  1. Put cut vegetables in boiling water (approximately 170 degrees),
  2. blanch for 3-4 minutes,
  3. remove from water, towel dry and cool for 30 minutes,
  4. spray a baking sheet with a nonstick spray,
  5. at this point some people will put in a bag with corn starch and coat to get extra crispy, but this coating will add to the level of acrylamides which has been  reduced in the destarching process,
  6. place cut vegetables on the sheet in a single layer,
  7. drizzle lightly with olive oil, grape seed oil or coconut oil,
  8. toss with your hands to make sure well coated,
  9. bake at 300 degrees for approximately 2 minutes (very lightly brown, pale),
  10. remove from oven, cool 30 minutes,
  11. put in the freezer for one (1) hour
  12. if you are not going to finish cooking at this point, put in freezer bags to finish cooking later,
  13. if you are going to finish cooking, bake at 375 degrees until the desired browning is attained, approximately 4-5 minutes,
  14. to assist your body with breaking down the remaining carbs, starches and sugars, toss with pureed garlic and onion, fresh ground rosemary and finely chopped Italian parsley
  15. Enjoy without ketchup as it has added sugar and would undermine all your efforts to produce this healthy snack.

For more details on why it is important to destarch, read our post: “How to Destarch High Carb Vegetables”

Health Disclaimer http://www.mamavega.com

All information in this article is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being.

The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

April 25, 2012

Your Body Knows Different Sugars

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Recent television commercials promoting cornsugar.com states, “sugar is sugar and your body doesn’t know the difference”. It is my contention that your body knows the difference between sugars and it is easy to show evidence supporting my supposition. Using scientific evidence of Glycemic Index, I submit the Glycemic Index for various sugars:

Artificial Sweeteners n/a [chemicals]

Stevia 0

Xylitol 7

Agave Nectar 15-30

Fructose 17-22

Brown Rice Syrup 25

Raw Honey 30

Coconut Palm Sugar 35

Barley Malt Syrup 42

Amasake 43

Sugar Cane Juice 43

Lactose 46

Organic Sugar 47

_____________________<50 = Low Glycemic Index (GI)

Maple Syrup 54

Blackstrap Molasses 55 (not considered a sugar, sugar cooked off)

Evaporate Cane Juice 55

High Fructose Corn Syrup 62

Sucrose 64

Brown Sugar 64

Turbinado 65

Raw Sugar 65

_____________________ 56 – 69 = Moderate Glycemic Index (GI)

Cola 70

Corn Syrup 75

Table Sugar 80

High Fructose Corn Syrup 87

Glucose/Dextrose 96-100

__________________________ 70 and greater High Glycemic Index (GI)

Date Sugar 103

Maltodextrin 150 a common sweet food additive derived from starch

The Glycemic Index is determined by how the particular sugar raises the blood sugar level in the body over a 2-3 hour period. If, as the television commercials state, sugar is sugar and your body doesn’t know the difference then, your body would respond exactly the same when introduced to each of the sugars. Given the fact that the GI is scientifically determined and your body responds differently to each then, scientifically speaking, your body know the difference and thus responds differently to each ingredient categorized as a sugar.

Stop Feeding Sugar to Kids!

Another note to consider is cancer patients are advised to avoid sugar because the sugars feed the cancer. Sugars encourage cancer growth, inflammation, arthritis and a host of other diseases. If it is true that we all carry cancer cells and depending upon what is going on in our lives and what we eat, activation of these cells may happen; our body’s response indicates it knows the difference between sugars.

Foods with Hidden Sugars

Finally, the lower the GI the slower the sugar is released into our body and acts as energy. The higher the GI the more rapid the sugar is released into our body and is eventually stored ad fat. The body chooses to use as energy or store. Making a choice to use as energy or store means the body knows the difference. In order to choose and react differently means your body KNOWS the difference.

Health Disclaimer

All information in this recipe is provided for your information only and may not be construed as medical advice or instruction. No action or inaction should be taken based solely on the contents of this information; instead, readers should consult appropriate health professionals and conduct their own independent research on any matter relating to their health and well-being. The information and opinions expressed here are believed to be accurate, based on the best judgment and research available to the authors at this time, and readers who fail to consult with appropriate health authorities assume the risk of any injuries.

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