October Nutrition Nuggets


Autumn is one of my favorite seasons; spring being the other. Watching the changes in nature as She puts on a colorful show. The winding down from a busy summer. Time to slow down & enjoy the quiet & be with oneself.

I shared this post from Dr. Low Dog on our SDCRI Facebook page: Loneliness vs Solitude.  “Loneliness can have severe detriments to your health, but it is not the same as solitude. I often find solitude to hold many joys and comforts.”  Take a minute to read the article. We all need that time alone to regroup & refresh. This is the season to start to enjoy the joys & comforts of solitude. 

I have chosen 3 research studies for our October Nutrition Nuggets & I am also including an article about the safety of cookware that I know you will benefit from. 

The news was full of research studies concerning the world wide obesity rates of children this past month. I touched on that in a previous post. This time I will write about the obesity rates of adults in the U.S.A. 

What is new about the obesity epidemic among adults in the U.S.? The CDC’s National Center of Health Statistics has published data from a survey they did: Prevalence of Obesity Among Adults and Youth: United States, 2015–2016 The study includes charts showing the increase in obesity by age group, gender & race. What I found significant was in the following categories:

  • 39.8% of adults are obese. 
  • The obesity rate was highest between the ages of 40-59.
  • Women had a rate higher than men overall. Women 44.7% & men 40.8%.

These rates are mystifying in many ways. In spite of all the media coverage on health & what constitutes a healthy diet & what doesn’t, obesity continues to rise. With the many fad diets pushed by “celebrities” it continues to rise. Media coverage of the links between obesity & chronic diseases hasn’t helped either. Why is that? I am asking because I just don’t understand. My best guess is that most people just aren’t willing to change. Life in this technological age is stressful & expensive. It is easier to find comfort in cheaper, packaged, fast foods than to find time in a too busy schedule to buy groceries & to prepare meals. That I get. 

Even more interesting was a link from this survey to the Office of Disease Prevention & Health Promotion’s Healthy People.gov. On this site is the topic Nutrition and Weight Status The Healthy People 2020 Goals, include reducing the obesity rate to 30.5% for adults & 14.5% for children. With the trend of rising obesity rates it doesn’t look like this goal will be met. This is an interesting site to look at. It covers how this goal will be accomplished through eating a healthy diet & maintaining a healthy body weight. The problem I have with these statistics is that they are based on a BMI chart. Their way of measuring BMI in the survey does include age, gender & race but it is still not very accurate overall. 

Being our own health advocate includes taking care of ourselves. I look at the cost of healthy, organic veggies, fruits & grains as preventative health insurance. 

I have been asked about whether or not hair dye can cause cancer. My thought was that anything that contains a toxic chemical that is applied externally or taken internally has the potential to cause cells to mutate.  A study done by Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey & Rutgers School of Public Health took a look at this question & the results were published in June of 2017. The study participants were 4,285 African American & Caucasian women who used hair dye &/or hair relaxer. Some had already been  diagnosed with breast cancer but not all had the same type of breast cancer. Some of the participants did not have cancer. The age group was 20-75 years of age. Here is my summary of what they found.

  • The risk was higher when having their hair dyed in a hair salon rather than dying their hair at home.
  • The darker the dye the higher the risk. 
  • African American women had a higher risk than Caucasian women using dark hair dye.
  • Caucasian women had a higher risk when using hair relaxers than African American women.
  • There was an overall higher risk associated with estrogen-positive cancers.

The bottom line on this study is that more research needs to be done. There is a big difference in ingredients in each hair dye or relaxer product. The participants were not asked which product they used. So the actual culprit is probably a common chemical ingredient. Which one was not established in this study. There is also a debate on whether the frequency of using hair dyes & relaxers makes a difference.

The best article I could find about this study was from ASPPH, Association of Schools & Programs of Public Health: Rutgers Study Links Certain Hair Products to Breast Cancer , June 22, 2017.

In another study in Finland, the researchers found an increase of breast cancer among women who dyed their hair. These researchers weren’t convinced it was just the hair dye products causing this cancer. The Finish researchers also speculate that women who use hair dye may tend to use other products such as makeup, creams etc. This may skew the results of these studies. The original article was published October 14, 2017 in the New York Post: Hair dyes could raise risk of breast cancer: study by Tamar Lapin

This issue, for both men & women, will be a personal decision. How important is it to you to dye &/or straighten your hair?

Sebastian Beaton at twokitchenjunkies sent me a link to his article about cookware safety. I am sharing the link to his guide because it is based on science & is the most comprehensive guide on this subject that I have seen. He not only discusses each type of cookware, for example stainless steel & cast iron, he also provides links for additional reading & some very informative videos. This is a must read for any of you who want up to date information on what kind of cookware is best for you or to check in to see if the cookware you own is a healthy choice. I have bookmarked the website for my own personal use 🙂

The ultimate guide to safe & healthy cookware “We spend a lot of time considering what we eat. There’s no doubt that cooking our own meals gives us ultimate control over the healthfulness of the ingredients in our food, but what about the impact of cookware on the safety of what we eat? Just how healthy for us is the cookware we use?

No matter how much thought we put into selecting our produce and other ingredients, using the wrong cookware or even using good cookware improperly can have devastating effects on our best efforts.”

As Sebastian points out, which type of cookware you use depends on what you are cooking. We own several types of cookware for that very reason. 

Be sure to explore the twokitchenjunkies website. I have always wanted a rice cooker & found the information on the website very helpful. There is even a cooktop guide. If you use Pinterest, make sure to follow him at Two Kitchen Junkies. I am a gadget person & he has a page of them! I also like all the info-graphs. I have to time myself when on Pinterest 🙂 Easy to get lost in all those subjects, photos & recipes!

Thank you for sharing with us Sebastian 🙂

Until next week, November!!! Wow, this year has just flown by for me. Time to slow down & get ready for winter. I will be looking for new Thanksgiving recipes to share…Mary 🙂