Most mornings I try to glance at the Bing health news site, just to see what is happening that I might need to know about. This week two studies were released by two different Journals that reached different conclusions about salt. Arrgh! At first I was irritated. Then a remembered that conflicting studies about protein and fat were what convinced me that the science behind the Blood Type Diet was true.
Some news sites reported one study and some reported the other, but Brittney R. Villalva did a good job of covering both. Here are excerpts from her article.
While a number of governmental organizations have worked to drop the amount of salt contained in processed foods, the actual impact has been unsubstantial, according to a study published May 13 in JAMA Internal Medicine. The average amount of salt contained in packaged, processed foods only decreased by 3.5 percent, the study indicates, while sodium content in restaurant food increased by 2.6 percent.
"The strategy of relying on the food industry to voluntarily reduce sodium has proven to be a public health disaster," author and Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) executive director Michael F. Jacobson said in a press release.
But at the same time, a study conducted by the Institute for Medicine has declared that dropping sodium content in excess in one's diet could also pose health side affects. While the study maintains that Americans still consume far too much salt and are in excess of the recommended 2,300 milligram maximum- it also suggests that those who have gone to great extents to severely reduce the amount of salt in their diet have not benefited medically.
"We're not saying we shouldn't be lowering excessive salt intake," Dr. Brian Strom of the University of Pennsylvania, who led the IOM committee, told the Associated Press. But below 2,300 mg a day, "there is simply a lack of data that shows it is beneficial."
The American Heart Association maintains that people should consume no more that 1,500 mg of sodium per day. The average American consumes about 3,400 mg. Many are still convinced that the large sodium intakes are resulting in numerous health problems.
The first thing that I wanted to know was whether Dr. D'Adamo took a position on salt intake. I don't have all of his books, but the ones I have don't mention salt except to say that it is neutral.
In one of his Ask Dr. D'Adamo columns he had this commentary on a study about heart disease.
...numerous studies (many harking back to the 1950's) have linked ABO type to higher levels of cholesterol and coronary artery disease. This study again demonstrates the power of defining diet by blood group: By using this system, you eat not just for today, but for tomorrow. If you are type A, you'll want to take the advice of the 'broad-band paleo-dieters' with less than a grain of salt.
This fits in with my Type A husband's problems with blood pressure. So I'll keep him on a low salt diet. But what about Type Os?
In Heidi Merritt's "On the Diet" column, she frequently recommended drinking water with "a pinch of salt and lemon." I tried that for a while, but it seemed to make me retain water weight, so I dropped it.
Adelle Davis focused her attention on keeping sodium and potassium intake in balance, warning that people eating a modern diet got way too little potassium for the amount of sodium they were consuming.
I remember many years ago trying a liquid potassium supplement that I eventually stopped taking because I started feeling faint when I was exercising. But then I tend to have low blood pressure.
The really confusing factor in all of this is that my Type O son, who is under 30 years of age, already has high blood pressure and is on a low dose of blood pressure medication. Because he is a single young professional, who eats out a lot, he has a hard time following his doctor's advice to decrease his sodium and increase his potassium.
I am left with the déjà vu feeling that something is missing in all of these studies. Perhaps one of these days someone, maybe Dr. D., will figure it out.
My Darling Daughter now has her own blog. As a pastor's wife, she usually blogs about spiritual issues in the culture. However this week she posted a pumpkin recipe that is incredibly delicious. Those of you who have read my blog for a long time have watched DD grow up from her middle school years. I'm going to post her whole blog so you can catch a glimpse of the young woman she has become. The Pumpkin Pudding recipe is at the bottom.
I love the reactions people give when they ask what the "orange stuff" that I'm eating is. I reply "pumpkin" - and then wait. The response is always - "Like, pumpkin pie?" "No... just pumpkin." "Oh..." [followed by a really grossed out look].
What can I say... I love pumpkin!
Not only is it a delicious vegetable, but it is also a very nutritious vegetable. Pumpkin is rich in beta-carotene, a pro-vitamin that is converted to vitamin A in the body - which is essential for eye health and may be linked to preventing coronary heart disease. It is also a great immune booster. One cup of pumpkin has ten grams of fiber, four grams of protein, and only eighty calories. The pumpkin seeds are also good for you. They have protein, magnesium, potassium, and zinc. They have high levels of phytosterols which can reduce cholesterol and help prevent against some types of cancer.
1 Corinthians 6:19-20
Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body.
To me, one of the best ways to glorify God with your body is by putting good things into it. If I nourish my body - the body that God designed uniquely for me - I am honoring Him. What I put into my body is important. Just as what I watch and hear affect my mind and heart, the food and drink I put into my body also affect me.
When my Heroic Husband prays for our food, he almost always says, "...and let us eat this food in a way that honors You." I love that! I want to live in a way that honors God - so why would I not want to eat in a way that honors God?
I was very blessed and fortunate to grow up in a home where health was important. When I was little, my Marvelous Mother fixed good food for me. As I grew older, she taught me to cook healthy food for myself. Today, we still love getting together and cooking delicious, healthy meals.
The other day, while I was looking at the benefits of chia seeds (and they are really good for you too), I came across a new pumpkin recipe. I decided to modify the ingredients a little and try it out.
As I was quickly mixing it together that night, my Heroic Husband asked, "What is that?" I said, "I don't exactly know, but it will either be really good or really bad." Let me tell you - it is really good!
1/4 Cup Chia Seeds
1/4 Cup Pure Canned Pumpkin
1 Cup Almond Milk
1 Tablespoon Agave Nectar
1/2 Tablespoon Cinnamon
1 Teaspoon Vanilla Extract
1 Dash of Nutmeg
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Make sure to mix them well - the chia seeds and cinnamon like to clump together - as does the pumpkin.
[NOTE: Your mixture will look NOTHING like pudding. It will be a watery substance. Do not worry! As the chia seeds sit, they will absorb the access liquid.]
Cover bowl and refrigerate overnight.
3 John 1:2
Beloved, I pray that all may go well with you and that you may be in good health, as it goes well with your soul.
On the Blood Type Diet, there are no beneficial grains for Type Os. That led me to be virtually grain free for quite a while…which was a bad decision…but one I've dealt with in other blogs. The GenoType diet does have beneficial grains for Hunters and Gatherers, and I make sure I have one or more servings a day of brown rice, quinoa, buckwheat, or millet.
One of the beneficial Type O grains is teff. I had never seen it in a store and never heard of anyone eating it until today.
Our Strong Son invited us to meet him in Austin for lunch at an Ethiopian restaurant called Aster's. I was ready for a food adventure, but my Honorable Husband was extremely skeptical. Aster's has a buffet for Sunday lunch that is very reasonably priced. I love buffets at international restaurants because I can sample a lot of different foods.
SS told us that instead of using silverware, we were supposed to tear off bits of bread and pick up our food with the bread. Our server must have known we were new to this, because he brought us forks. I filled my plate with delicious smelling vegetables and meats. I resolved to eat with a fork - because when I hear "bread," I think "wheat."
I had three different meat dishes. One was very spicy, but the other two were wonderful. I also got Atakelt Wott (cabbage, green beans, carrots, onions, garlic, and ginger, in a turmeric sauce) and Gomen (collard greens cooked with onion, garlic, and spices). I have got to google a recipe for Gomen. It was categorically the best collard greens I've ever eaten.
SS filed his Dad's plate with salad, rice, and some vegetarian lentil dishes. And he gave his Dad a piece of Ethiopian bread, which looks like a brown tortilla.
We were all eating, and enjoying our food, when someone picked up a card on the table that told about the bread, which is called Injera. It's not made of wheat. It's made of Teff. When I heard that, I had to try it, and I liked it. So I began to eat my meat Ethiopian style, picking it up with the bread.
The card referred to a website - teffco.com¸ where you can order Teff in the United States, and the price seems reasonable. I think I'm going to order their sample pack so I can try both the grain and the flour.
I am still trying to figure out if we have a new, creative manager at the local grocery store, or if yesterday I suddenly opened my eyes to products that have been on the shelves all along. Whichever it was my trip to the grocery store was an adventure.
The search for new products started because I bought a cell phone before I went grocery shopping. Such a simple purchase requires many forms and too much time. When I reached the store I needed something to eat or drink. I found Teas Tea brand green tea with lemongrass, unsweetened. I opened a bottle and sipped it as I shopped. What a delightful flavor...good green tea and very lemony.
I needed jelly. There on the grocery store shelf were imported Black Current preserves. Real Currents are hard to find in the US, at least in the South. I had found Current Preserves at a discount store several years ago, and loved them, but once the store was out, they didn't reorder. I put a dollop of Black Current preserves on my turnip greens for dinner, and they were delicious. Perhaps turnip greens and preserves sounds weird to you - I can't explain it, but turnip greens need something to make them palatable, and preserves do the trick.
I was on the baking isle to get cilantro, when I saw a coupon for $1.00 off any two flours by Bobs Red Mill. I didn't really need anything...but I couldn't pass up the coupon. I bought one bag of brown rice flour (practical) and one bag of garbanzo fava flour (impulsive). I'm loving what I imagine garbanzo fava flour will taste like. I'm thinking biscuits. I'm also thinking breaded okra or onions or chicken livers.
I went to pick up the Blue Diamond nut crackers that HH likes. Right above them on the shelf was a new brand of rice crackers. There were so many intriguing flavors - all of them gluten free. I bought three flavors: Bean and Fiesta Lime, Sweet Onion and Multigrain. HH immediately opened the Multigrain and loved them. The best part - they are less expensive than the nut crackers.
In produce I found fresh guava back in stock. In addition the price on mangos has dropped, so I bought two.
The only bad thing about grocery store adventures is that it takes time to read all of the labels. It was getting late and I needed something fast for dinner. The meat department had 1/3 pound flavored fish burgers. I bought spicy salmon burgers for last night and Mahi Mahi burgers with feta cheese for lunch today.
Last weekend we had an early Easter with our family. DD and SIL came on Friday. They spent Saturday morning and afternoon doing income taxes with HH's help. Certainly a stressful start to the weekend! But after that it was all relaxed and fun. SS drove down in time for dinner.
I cooked a roast for the three Type Os, and had salmon patties for the two Type As. We also had rice, green beans, spinach, and butternut squash.
I wanted to tell you about the butternut squash. When I cook it for myself, I scoop it out of the peel one serving at a time. I sprinkle a little cinnamon on top and eat it. But I thought it should look nicer for a family dinner. I cooked the whole squash in the oven that morning. Just before dinner I separated the good part from the seeds and peeling. I mashed it with cinnamon, ginger, and olive oil. I put it in a casserole dish and sprinkled it with chopped almonds. Just before dinner, I warmed it in the oven. It was delicious.
Last Sunday morning we all got to go to church together. When the children were growing up, going to church together was such a normal, every week event. Now with SIL pastoring a church far away and SS active in a church less than an hour away, we rarely get to worship together. So this was a special time for us as a family.
Today is Palm Sunday. This morning we sang joyful praise songs. The service was exciting. Tonight we had a candlelight Lord's Supper. The service was serious and thoughtful. HH and I got home in time to watch "The Bible" on the History Channel.
A friend asked me what I thought about "The Bible." At first I laughed and said, "Oh you know me; I always think the book is always better than the movie." But seeing she was serious, I gave a serious answer. You can't possibly cover the entire Bible in five two-hour shows. Some things have to be combined or left out. There is some interpretation of detail where the Bible is silent.
However, I think they have done a remarkable job of accurately portraying the major themes of the Bible. It's certainly worth watching. Next week, on Easter Sunday, they will show the Resurrection, the growth of the church, and the Book of Revelation. I think we will have eggs for dinner while we watch!