Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Foods You Shouldn't Reheat debunked

MSN has this one article that keeps getting recirculated on it's own feed.  (http://www.msn.com/en-ca/foodanddrink/foodnews/foods-you-should-never-reheat-and-why/ss-AAlrn95?li=AAggFp5&ocid=mailsignout#image=1)  

First off MSN is a horrible source.  It often shares nonsense articles about nutrition with very little to almost no scientific references or credibility.  The original sources can usually be traced to quackery sites like Mercola and Natural News which spew an abundance on absurdities aimed at the gullible.    This "article", or rather clickbait, gives very little substance and resorts simply to the fear-mongering.  As usual with stuff like this, there is often a small grain of truth, but important information is missing in order for a consumer to make an informed choice.  Most of these become problematic if reheated from something that was left standing at room temperature (and therefore allowing bacteria to do their nasty work).   If proper preparation and storage (fridge/freezer) procedures are followed, there will be little to be concerned about.  

1.  Celery,beets, spinach, lettuce:   Yes these food can contain nitrates.  Nitrates can be converted to nitrosamines.  It is thought though that other substances, like vitamin C, within the plants help protect against them.  To help prevent/reduce bacterial and enzymes refridgerate any unused food immediately.

2.  Potatoes and Mushrooms:  Yes foods heated do lose some nutrient value, but the amount is small. The benefits of heating foot outweigh the small loss and include easier digestion (and thus more nutrient absorption), decreasing of bacteria, and taste enhancement.  Really no reason not to reheat if following proper food production and storage (don't let unused food stand too long unprotected and at room temperature allowing for bacterial growth).

3.  Chicken and eggs:  Just like the other items above, the only real problem is with contamination if left out and not in the fridge.  The big concern is salmonella poisoning if proper storage and handling protocols are not followed.

4.  Rice:  Unique fact, reheating properly stored rice (again to prevent bacterial growth) is actually healthier as it has a lower carbohydrate amount (the same is true of pasta as well)

In regards to the oils, I don't have knowledge in that right now, but I would at least have to agree that they don't taste the best reheated, so just for that reason go with fresh oil every time.

Saturday, December 10, 2016

Midlife Milk hysteria

Don't be alarmed. The fear-mongers and hype machine are at work. A recent study was published showing a correlation (and a weak one at that) between a pesticide used in Hawaii on Pineapples in the 1980s (which is now banned in agriculture in the USA since 1988) and Parkinson's Disease. The study is in regard to assumed contaminated milk consumed.
Some problems with the study.
The milk consumption was only measured once at the beginning of the decades long study and assumed to be the same (a huge red flag).
The association found in the study of lower neuron density can be explained by other mechanisms
The study actually suggests that smoking is a preventative measure (as non-smoking men who consumed the milk had the lowest neuron density). So no, one shouldn't make a lifestyle change simply due to a study ;) "For those who were ever smokers, an association between milk intake and neuron density was absent."
Hence the study does not show a cause and effect relationship between consumption of milk and PD.
There is no direct evidence that the milk consumed by the men was contaminated.
"The vast majority of milk consumers do not get Parkinson's disease"--Robert Abbott, author of the study.
While the study is interesting in providing pathways to further study, it is by no means a smoking gun. From it's own conclusion "Whether contamination of milk with organochlorine pesticides has a role in SN neurodegeneration warrants further study."