Category Archives: Health Issues

Why You May Not Want to Eat Out

Sometimes you want a break from cooking. Sometimes you want to be waited on for a change. Sometimes you just feel like going out for a meal. But there’s something you need to watch for that is causing problems. It is called pthalates. They are derived from pthalic acid – a crystalline acid that comes from benzene, a hydrocarbon found in coal tar and petroleum. These are found in many things such as toys, cosmetics, even our food. They are used to make plastics more flexible and durable. They are also found in shower curtains, vinyl flooring, air fresheners, plastic wraps and containers, medical tubing, nail polish, hair spray, fragrances.

It was found that people who eat out more had almost 35% higher levels of pthalates. These pthalates are anti-androgenic, meaning they disrupt male hormones. They are also linked to breast cancer.

Exposure to these harmful chemicals can be achieved by dining out less. Eat more fresh foods rather than processed or prepackaged foods. Look for labels that say DBP-free or Toxic Trio Free. Avoid plastics made from PVC or number 3 plastics. Use glass, metal or ceramic for food storage. Avoid vinyl home furnishings. Avoid fragrances and air fresheners.

The team that discovered this will next find out how these contaminates are getting into our food.

Grilling Meat Can Raise Blood Pressure

Cooking meat at high temps already gives a risk for cancer. Well, now you need to be aware it can raise blood pressure. It is cooking meats, red or white, at high temperatures that causes problems. Also, meats that are well done or charred increase risk. It was found that those with the higher blood pressure had grilled fifteen times per month or about every other day.

To avoid more carcinogens, here are some tips that may help.
Use leaner cuts of meat. Keep chicken refrigerated until ready to grill and cook thoroughly. Marinate in the refrigerator. User lower temperatures instead of a high flame. Keep your grill clean. Precook in the oven. Grill vegetables instead.

Tips to keep blood pressure from getting too high are to limit grilling to two or three times per week. Don’t char your meat. Limit red meat.


Ultra-processed foods linked to cancer

The BMJ reports a study done by French researchers has found a link between eating ultra-processed foods and cancer. Even just a 10% increase in ultra-processed foods can have an effect. They divided foods into 4 groups: unprocessed or minimally processed, processed culinary ingredients, processed, and ultra-processed.

Food prepared by adding sugar, salt, or prepared by industrially prepared is considered processed. Ultra-processed foods mostly are found to have higher content of total fat, saturated fat, added sugar, added salt, lower fiber, and lower in vitamins. Some may be packaged with bisphenol A (BPA) which interrupts hormone balance. They often have added ingredients that may not be even be considered food.

Examples of each group
Unprocessed or minimally processed: fresh fruits, vegetables, rice, pasta, eggs, meat, fish, milk
Processed culinary ingredients: salt, vegetable oils, butter, sugar, or other things extracted from food
Processed: canned vegetables with added salt, sugar coated fruits, meat products preserved by salt, cheeses, fresh made bakery breads, products made with additional salt, sugar or other items under the processed culinary ingredients category
Ultra-processed: mass produced packaged breads or buns, packaged snacks, mass produced desserts, sodas, sweetened drinks, meat balls, poultry or fish nuggets, meats containing nitrites, soups, instant noodles, packaged meals (frozen or shelf-stable), anything that uses hydrogenated oils, modified starches, flavoring agents, colors, emulsifiers, nonsugar sweeteners, cosmetic additives.

The study showed the 10% increase increased the number of cancers detected to be increased by 12%. On the average, 18% of the people studied had an ultra-processed diet and there were 79 cancers per 10,000 people each year. By increasing ultra-processed food by 10% would add another 9 people per year.

To Sneeze or Not To Sneeze

When you feel you have to sneeze, you may not be able to get to a tissue or hankie fast enough. Sometimes you may want to hold your nose shut or clamp your mouth shut to prevent the sneeze from escaping. That’s what happened to a man in England.

The 34-year-old man went to the emergency room after experiencing popping and swelling in his throat. Insisting he didn’t eat anything sharp, he told the doctors this happened after he stifled a sneeze. It caused air to go into his tissues thus the popping feeling. It took a week for him to recuperate. The air pockets in his tissue had to dissipate. The doctor labeled the condition “spontaneous perforation of the pharynx” in her article.

So if you gotta sneeze, then by all means sneeze!

Dr. Wanding Yang’s report.

Lower your blood pressure

In an article from, they give “6 simple tips to reduce your blood pressure.”

As we age it seems our blood pressure (hypertension) can increase. High blood pressure is considered anything over 130/80, so this may have bumped you into this category now. This is the new guideline for determining hypertension in adults. This should cause you to look at your lifestyle and see what changes you can make to get your pressure under control. This can help reduce chance of “heart attack, stroke, kidney disease, eye disease, or cognitive decline,” states the article. So what are the changes?

1. Lose weight (of course) – even 10 pounds lost can make a difference.
2. Read food labels – if you have hypertension, you should cap your daily salt intake to 1,500 mg per day. That’s only about 3/4 teaspoon. Things to watch for are breads, rolls, cold cuts, cured meats, pizza, poultry, soup, and sandwiches.
3. Get moving – exercise about half an hour five days a week. Find something you will stick to.
4. Pump some iron – add weight lifting to your routine.
5. Limit alcohol to one drink per day
6. Relieve stress with daily meditation or deep breathing. Stress constricts your blood vessels and spike blood pressure. Maybe to help with this you will need to make sure you are getting enough sleep as well.