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How do you discern which foods are healthiest and individually tailored?

You may wish to check out the article by Michael Greger, MD, "Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis," at the website.There are some excellent links at that site such as Egg Cholesterol in the Diet and Avoiding Cholesterol Is a No Brainer.

How do you discern which foods are healthiest and individually tailored?
Anne Hart, photography.

The doctor's article also mentions and includes a link to the 25,000 cigarette study detailed in What Women Should Eat to Live Longer. There's also Dr Greger's opener to his 2012 year-in-review video Uprooting the Leading Causes of Death, in which the physician explores the role diet can play in preventing, treating, and reversing our top 15 killers. Or you can read additional articles or studies and their abstracts on eggs such as, Carcinogenic Retrovirus Found in Eggs, Egg Industry Blind Spot, Total Recall, and Chicken, Eggs, and Inflammation.

His article also mentions numerous blog posts such as, "Eggs, Cigarettes, and Atherosclerosis," "Why Are Eggs Linked to Cancer Progression?" and "Egg Industry Caught Making False Claims." If you've noticed lately, an increasing number of health and fitness articles and health-related publications focus on eggs, dairy, fats, and animal protein as compared to vegan selections.

It's noteworthy that eggs, dairy, and meat (animal protein) are listed as the most highly addictive foods in addition to sugar and white (bleached) wheat flour and other sweets that raise blood sugar levels.

Does wheat make you fat by raising your blood sugar and insulin levels?

For example, see the sites such as, "FAQs | Wheat Belly Blog," "Wheat: The Unhealthy Whole Grain – Life Extension," and "Three Hidden Ways Wheat Makes You Fat - Dr. Mark Hyman." Or see, "6 Ways "Heart-Healthy" Whole Wheat Can Destroy Your Health, " "Whole Wheat Bread On a Low-Carb Diet? - Low Carb Diets," and "Carbohydrates and Blood Sugar | The Nutrition Source."

People need to know how to tailor foods to individual metabolic and genetic requirements based on how their body responds to certain foods from their blood and cells to how the food makes them feel over time, such as energy, anxiety, adverse reaction, digestive issues, weight gain, or fatigue.

How are the public educated when it comes to what food is healthiest?

What's wrong with healthy foods published in various commercial fitness and health consumer magazines? Many of these articles ignore special diets, what foods can be substituted for people who can't tolerate dairy products, low-salt, low-sugar alternatives, or foods not frequently advertised. For example, there's an excellent article on the Yahoo news site, by Alexa Joy Sherman, "Dig In! the Best Foods for Weight Loss," published April 28, 2014 online on the Yahoo website at the link known as FITNESS Magazine | Healthy Living. You also may wish to see the articles, "Whey Too Much: Greek Yogurt's Dark Side - Modern Farmer" and "Greek Yogurt's Dark Side: Acid Whey -"

Vegans are not the majority, but some of them may be asking why is milk and other dairy products recommended for possible belly fat loss when so many studies recommend not consuming an excess of milk? And then there's the combination of milk and eggs that taste so good, they can be addictive when sugar and wheat flour is added to eggs and milk, as in daily pancakes served with dairy-based yogurt. People addicted to milk, sugar, and eggs often eat pancakes daily and sometimes to excess because the taste can result in cravings as the molecules in the brain change when someone is hooked on milk, sugar, eggs, and wheat flour.

A lot of people love eggs and milk or eggs and yogurt pancakes

They're mixed into delicious pancakes with added sugar and salt, and restaurants are full with people ordering these pancakes daily. But are milk and eggs health foods when eaten daily, and not just one egg or one cup of milk? There's also a problem with wheat flour. See, "Wheat Bread vs. Snickers Bar - Nathan Young's Blog. Or check out the article, "Do 2 slices of whole wheat bread raise blood sugar levels." For example, A Snickers Bar is a 51 on the glycemic index, while a slice of wheat bread is a 71.

On the other hand, when it comes to cravings for the taste of eggs, milk, sugar, and all-purpose (bleached white) flour, you may wish to check out this delicious recipe, "Finnish Kropser (Baked Pancakes) Recipe -" The taste is overwhelmingly delicious. But the ingredients you're getting are:

3 eggs

1/2 cup of white sugar

1 teaspoon of salt

2 cups milk

1 and 1/4 cups of all- purpose flour

1/4 cup of butter

You don't add baking powder as is done in American style pancakes/hotcakes/flapjacks. Instead you bake in a preheated 450 degree F. oven for 30 minutes. The pancakes puff up. Then they flatten into thin pancakes when they cool. They're not round, but cut into squares. Now if you eat these daily, you're getting all that white flour and sugar along with your salt, milk and eggs.

You need to find out what these ingredients are changing in your body from the molecules in your brain that motivate you to crave sweets to your need to have these ingredients on a frequent, often daily basis, compared to, say a breakfast of steamed quinoa and a side of cooked pinto beans followed by a small amount of blueberries with flaxseed meal sprinkled over it and spirulina and barley green powder, almond milk, or a plate of soaked buckwheat groats. It all depends upon how your body reacts to these different foods in the long term.

What's that doing to your arteries depends on your genetic, chemical, and metabolic response to those ingredients. Do you really want that bleached white wheat flour fattening up your belly along with the 1/2 cup of table sugar? Or would you rather eat a vegan breakfast of pinto beans and quinoa with a side of celery and broccoli to flatten your belly? That depends, again on your genetic response to various foods.

What's absolutely correct about the article, "Dig In! the Best Foods for Weight Loss," is the statistic that the average American woman's waist measures 37 1/2 inches (it should be 35, maximum), the article explains. If more than half of U.S. adults have too much abdominal fat, the reason is familiarity with foods that contribute to belly fat that's all around us. For example, in many urban neighborhoods there's a fast-food eatery on every two block stretch of avenue, near various shopping centers and strip malls.

Where do you gain weight, on the belly or mostly on the hips and thighs?

Some people have the genes and/or a balance of hormones that puts fat on thighs and hips, and others gain abdominal fat but the hips, legs, thighs, and arms remain thin. If trying to get rid of belly fat means going on a 1,500 calorie a day diet, or if you're trying to lose weight on a 1,000 calorie a day diet so you can become more active, that's between you and your health care team.

The issue is that so many popular consumer magazines are giving lists of foods without knowing whether the foods are contributing to the problem, the allergy, or adverse reactions in the long term. The magazine article mentions The FITNESS Better Body Plan. For example dairy is mentioned. But does the study on dairy show it was funded by the dairy industry? The fitness article doesn't give the study's title, so you can't look it up to see who funded the study on milk, whether or not it was funded in part by the dairy industry, university research, or the government, or other private funders not associated in any way with commercial sales of dairy products.

You may wish to see the abstract of another study, "Influence of milk, yoghurt and calcium on cholesterol-induced atherosclerosis in rabbits." People aren't rabbits, but how closer are some people's genetic response to certain foods to what the rabbits experienced? In that study, according to its abstract, five groups of rabbits were studied to determine the effect of milk, yogurt, and calcium on cholesterol-induced hypercholesterolaemia and atherosclerosis. Hyper is high and hypo is low when it comes to cholesterol or sugar, or the level of any other measured substance in the body.

The experiment lasted for only 16 weeks. Yogurt, calcium, and milk reduced serum cholesterol levels in rabbits fed on the cholesterol diet. There was no significant difference in the cholesterol levels in the yoghurt and calcium groups. Yogurt had a better effect than milk on the cholesterol levels of the rabbits.

Yogurt caused a greater extent of hypocholesterolaemia than milk (P less than 0.001). Aortic sudanophilia was maximal in the cholesterol-fed group, while there was no sudanophilia in the yoghurt-fed group.

The milk and calcium groups showed an intermediate degree of sudanophilia. Aortic sudanophilia correlated with the serum cholesterol level (r = +0.65). It is suggested that calcium is an active factor in yoghurt, but that other hypocholesterolaemic agents may also be present.

Consumer magazines on health leave out technical words so the public can understand what's happening in a study, mainly what the findings were

Not everyone reads science articles or studies in medical or other technical journals. And much of the public isn't used to scientific language. So consumer magazine authors usually use quotes of experts rather than technical terms mentioned in the abstracts of studies.

If you look at the difference between consumer magazine articles and the abstracts of studies or the studies themselves, what's missing from most consumer magazines are technical language that scientists use when communicating with one another and what's most important links to studies or abstracts of studies so readers can at least view the findings of each study mentioned. Too often readers find in general consumer and various fitness magazines meant for the general public that there aren't any links to a study or its abstract that's discussed.

Sometimes the author of the study is interviewed in a consumer magazine article, most often speaking in non-technical language that anyone can understand what the findings were or what the study found

On the other hand, in general consumer magazines touting yogurt, there may be no mention of non-dairy substitutes such as unsweetened almond milk or any other type of nondairy beverage. One study is mentioned without providing a link at least to the abstract of that study. The dairy products study appeared in the Journal of Nutrition, but no mention of the study's title, month and date, or link to the study appears. So the reader won't find out the title, year, or month of the study or the name of the study to look it up and read at least the abstract. On the other hand, the study is described in the magazine article discusses yogurt. The important point is at least the findings of the study gets mentioned in most popular health-oriented consumer magazine articles.

For those interested in reading more about the studies, when the findings of the study are mentioned without naming the study or providing an online link to it, there's no way to check the resources to read more or find out what books were written by the authors of any given study. Some experts also put videos on YouTube of their lectures on health information. What the general consumer magazine article noted is the findings that overweight and obese women who ate six to seven servings of dairy a day lost nearly twice as much visceral fat as ladies who had one or less. That's in plain language for most people who want to cut to the chase and know in a few words that are clear what the study found was healthy eating, at least in a certain study.

The fitness magazine article also mentions another study's finding where dieting test subjects who consumed 1,100 milligrams of calcium a day from yogurt lost 61 percent more body fat and 81 percent more belly fat than those who did not consume yogurt. But no alternative is mentioned for vegans or those who get adverse reactions to dairy products. Those of us who are vegans hear from the general public constantly that most people eat animal protein, eggs, and dairy products. We know that, what we vegans look for are healthy alternatives that have been studied as to how these foods contribute to health and which foods supply the best nutrition. Some of us are tailoring food to our genes or at least our chemical and metabolic responses to foods, lifestyles, and environments.

What's mentioned in the article is that dairy does contain a high quality source of protein, casein and whey

For those who are looking for nondairy substitutes that have been found to be healthy in various studies would be a mention of alternatives for those who can't tolerate casein or whey. Alternatives could be provided so the reading audience might know other information about casein and whey, for example.

You also may wish to check out articles such as "Natural Bias » A1 Beta Casein: The Devil in Your Milk" and "Diet- Induced Atherosclerosis - Research Diets, Inc." Or see, "Dietary Protein, Cholesterol and Atherosclerosis: A Review of the Early History." Or see, "Cholesterol doesn't cause heart disease - Chris Kresser" and "Eggs, Cigarettes, and Atherosclerosis |" Or see, "Excessive milk intake as a risk factor, probably associated with oxidative stress, in experimental naphthalene-initiated cataract in rats."

Numerous readers may not realize how similar as well as in what ways there are differences between lab animals and humans in reactions to various foods. Milk and eggs usually go together in many foods. You may wish to check out another article referring readers to the abstract of a study on eggs. The article on eggs notes that a study, "Egg yolk consumption and carotid plaque," published in the journal Atherosclerosis, appearing in October, 2012, found that eating just 3 eggs or more a week was associated with a significant increase in artery-clogging plaque buildup in people’s carotid arteries going to their brain, a strong predictor of stroke, heart attack, and death.

If you check out a 3-min video, "Eggs vs. Cigarettes in Atherosclerosis," you’ll see researchers found an exponential increase in arterial plaque buildup for smokers and egg-eaters. What readers would like to know is what effects do boiled egg whites have on health? And is it just the yolk that clogged the carotids?

Those that ate the most eggs had as much as two-thirds the risk of those that smoked the most, the equivalent of a pack-a-day habit for 40 years or more. This did not go over easy with the egg industry, says that article. See, "Egg Cholesterol in the Diet."

Also see, "Milk and health." The Milk and health study's abstract from Norway explains that you find pro and con reasons for consuming dairy products. Certain studies indicate that a moderate intake of milk fat reduces the risk of cardiovascular disease, possibly through reduced formation of small dense LDL-particles, despite of its inherent tendency to increase total cholesterol.

On the other hand, the Norwegian study's abstract explains that for individuals with genetic metabolic defects, milk proteins, fat and milk sugar may cause health problems

People respond to dairy products based on their genes, blood type, and metabolic reactions to dairy products. For example for those who are genetically tolerant of dairy products, the low pH in fermented milk and the formation of substances during the fermentation process may have a beneficial effect. Yogurt would be one form of fermented or cultured milk.

In the study done in Norway, researchers found that full-fat milk and fermented milk lead to delayed gastric emptying, and thereby to reduced glycemia and reduced appetite. For some people, as one example, after eating dairy products or drinking milk before going to bed, the individual may feel as if there's a lump in the stomach. Then again, there's the milk sugar.

The study's abstract explains that harmful substances may be formed when proteins react with sugar, especially at a high temperature; a fact that should be considered with an increasing use of sweetened milk products. The cow's diet affects the milk's content of many nutrients as for example fatty acids, iodine and selenium. The composition of milk for commercial use should be investigated. Ask yourself if the milk is organic and whether it comes from grass-fed cows or are they fed grain? In nature, cows are supposed to eat grass, not grain.

If you ask authors of studies on whey and casein that mention health benefits, you're likely to hear that casein and whey are high quality sources of protein. Casein and whey are used extensively in a wide variety of commercial, processed foods.

You may not often hear about the high protein in quinoa or calcium in broccoli

Rarely will you hear about the protein or calcium levels in broccoli or protein levels in quinoa, mainly because there's less money for funding research studies from industries that sell organic fresh produce directly to the public in the least-processed form, other than cleaning the product from the soil or hydroponic nutrients in which the produce grows.

That's why you don't hear about the high quality protein in fresh produce. For examples, you can check out the site that lists which vegetables have the highest protein. See, "Vegetables Highest in Protein - HealthAliciousNess . com." The list ranks 34 vegetables highest in protein. Or see, the ABC News article, "Top 13 Vegan and Vegetarian Protein Sources." The question remains, do people need animal protein to be healthy? You could get your omega-3 fatty acids from purified cod liver oil if you don't eat fish, for example, or from certain types of microalgae and take your vitamin B12 supplements.

The question is what health benefits versus risks are you taking by avoiding animal protein in foods? You could compare two articles such as, "6 Reasons Why Vegans (and Doctors) Are Wrong About Animal Protein" and "Protein in the Vegan Diet -- The Vegetarian Resource." Or see the article, "A Vegan Doctor Addresses The Protein Question." The answer you need to know is what to eat to help reverse your own clogged arteries, if the plaque is still soft enough.

You also may wish to check out sites of the abstracts of studies such as "High proportions of foods recommended for consumption by United States Dietary Guidance contain solid fats and added sugar: results from the National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (2007-2008)." and "Sweet potato (Ipomoea batatas L.) leaves as nutritional and functional foods." Some people are even studying rain forest plant extracts for healing certain health issues. See, "Post-treatment with plant extracts used in Brazilian folk medicine caused a partial reversal of the antiproliferative effect of glyphosate in the Allium cepa test."

The selling point for dairy is mention of casein and whey touted as highest-quality sources of protein

What you're looking for in a diet besides weight management is muscle preservation, appetite regulation and fat loss if you're trying to lose fat." Some researchers and various health book authors explain that dairy fat contains conjugated linoleic acid, which has been shown to help reduce visceral fat. For more information on this you could check out the book, Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies.

In the magazine article, "Dig In! the Best Foods for Weight Loss," foods recommended include one to three ounces of dark chocolate. You also may wish to check out the book, Body For Life For Women.

Dark chocolate's monounsaturated fatty acids (MUFAs), help fight inflammation. Belly fat can produce inflammation in the body. Another food mentioned in the magazine article is vinegar, then dairy products, followed by green tea. There are studies, however, showing certain high-dose green tea extracts can harm your liver. Other foods mentioned in the magazine article include blueberries. You also can check out another article, "10 Foods to Never Eat." Or see, "10 Exotic Superfoods for Women."

The magazine article mentioned a Pennsylvania State University study found that people who ate five servings of whole grains a day lost more than twice as much abdominal fat as those who didn't eat them. But the magazine article didn't provide a link to the study's abstract so readers could see what the study's finding said or get a chance to find out the title of the study to read it in a library or university library in print or see whether the study is available online.

The magazine article also mentions "pack in the protein," but studies show too much protein can cause bone loss. See sites such as "Long-term effects of excess protein and phosphorus on bone homeostatis in adult mice," "Why can consuming too much protein cause bone loss," and "Can Consuming Too Much Protein Cause Kidney Disease."

Other advice in the magazine article includes suggestions to focus on healthy fats. Quotes from experts such as dietitians and nutritionists also appear in the article. For more nutritional information, check out the highly recommended by this author book by Erin Palinski-Wade, RD, a coauthor of Flat Belly Cookbook for Dummies.

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