Playing Chicken With Your Health

“There's a killer in the supermarket chiller.” These were the opening words of a recent article in the NZ Herald. It was talking about the potential food poisoning from meats available at your local shops. Chicken is thought to cause at least half of cases and at least 80 per cent of fresh chicken examined was contaminated with campylobacter.1

While chicken is the main culprit, it isn’t the only common source of campy-lobacter. We can be exposed by patting our pets, drinking untreated water (only 4 per cent), eating undercooked barbecued sausages and cross-contamination from tuna in a salad. The bacteria are also found in other poultry, raw milk, offal and various other foods.2

Do you see the pattern. The majority of causes for food poisoning comes from animal sources, particularly when we eat flesh foods! And this is not the only disadvantage of a diet containing animal products. It is commonly known that increased meat intake affects other areas of our health.

Women who eat a lot of meat are apt to weigh more than those who do not, a new study suggests. Garrett Hoyt who led the study told Reuters Health: "It may be worth recognizing that eating less meat may be beneficial in a weight management program. It is possible to eat a healthy diet that is limited in meat. Alternative protein sources such as, lentils, nuts and legumes can provide sufficient protein and actually be beneficial in dieting.”3

Another study based in China found that post-menopausal women who ate a Western-style diet — beef, pork, shrimp, chicken, candy, desserts and dairy products — were 60 percent more likely to develop breast cancer than those eating a diet based on vegetables and soy.4

Yet another study suggests that adopting a diet rich in whole grains, vegetables and fiber while cutting back on red meat and fats may reduce the risk of developing diabetes.5

Dr Gary Faerber from the University of Michigan Health system says that while drinking water is the key to kidney stone prevention, people with highly acidic urine may have to eat less meat, fish and poultry to reduce the 7-13 percent risk that all adults have of developing kidney stones some time during their life.6

And not only does it affect your health, but a study has shown that mothers who ate an unbalanced, meat-heavy diet during pregnancy tended to have children with an exaggerated hormonal response to stress.7

Flesh food in our diets certainly increases the risk for common health problems. And that risk can easily be avoided—it's like playing chicken with your health!”

~1. NZ Herald, July 14, 2007. 2. NZ Herald, May 27, 2007. 3. Reuters Health, June 4, 2007 4. Reuters Health, July 10, 2007. 5. Reuters Health, July 3, 2007. 6. HealthDay News, June 30, 2007. 7. Journal of Clinical Endocrinology and Metabolism, June 2007.


Olives

It is generally believed that the first olive trees came from countries surrounding the Mediterranean Sea. It is among the oldest known cultivated trees in the world.

The Bible refers to the olive tree and olive oil extensively. In the Book of Genesis the dove sent out from the ark by Noah returned with an olive branch - the great symbol of peace. Oil was used for treating wounds and of course for cooking.

Olives are a great low-calorie food. They add flavor and variety with only 7 calories per extra large olive.

Olives are low in fat at only 2.5 grams of fat per 4 Large olives. And not only are they low in fat, but they are an excellent source of the good fats that help lower the bad cholesterol.

The fatty acids in olives are highly monounsaturated. The fat in olives is 75% monounsaturated. Monounsaturated fats such as olive oil have been found not to have the artery damaging LDL-cholesterol, and to leave the beneficial HDL-cholesterol level unaffected or even at a higher level. Also, olives are a cholesterol-free food.1

Olive Oil

Olive oil is really a fruit-juice. Olive oil is cold pressed olive juice and olives are a fruit. That’s why it's so healthy and is used in the finest cuisines all over the world. Cold pressed means that the olives are picked and squeezed and are not boiled before squeezing.

In the mediterranean countries of Europe people eat a lot of olive oil. It is common to eat bread or toast just dipped in olive oil. Because of the daily use of olive oil the people that live in these countries suffer less from heart diseases than people of other countries in Europe.

Oil and butter based on vegetables are to be preferred. To put it shortly: everything you eat should be based on fruit or vegetables. You will look and feel much healthier and younger too!2

~1. http://www.olives.com/ 2. http://www.thefruitpages.com/olives.shtml

Recipe of the Month

Honey Dressing

2 T olive oil (optional)
2 T lemon juice
1 T honey
1 clove garlic crushed

Combine all ingredients in a jar; shake well. Serves 4
Recipe sourced from What’s Cooking With Natural Foods.