The Primary Source Of The Modern American

Morbid Obesity Epidemic

 

The United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is responsible for food labeling and recommendations. Since 1980, the FDA has required processed food manufactures to publish labels showing the fat content, carbohydrates, sugars, etc. of a serving of their food. FDA officials were incorrectly convinced by nutritionists (who do not fully understand the complex underlying metabolic issues) that eating fat was the primary reason that people get fat and contract heart disease, etc.

 

In 1992, the FDA published the Food Pyramid. At its foundation is the strong recommendation that we should all eat six to eleven servings of bread, pasta, rice or cereal a day (various forms of grass seeds). The FDA did NOT differentiate between the many different ways that such grains can be processed. The direct and often-measured result has been a rapid increase in American morbid obesity, heart disease (the number one killer), diabetes at an earlier age, cancer and acceleration of many degenerative processes that are normally associated with advanced years. The U.S. Centers For Disease Control (CDC) has excellent text, graphs and summaries of exactly how obesity has increased rapidly since the highly-flawed FDA Food Pyramid was published in 1992.

 

Morbid obesity is not the only serious problem with eating today’s forms of bread. Although it often is not diagnosed, nearly one percent of Americans have an allergy to “gluten,” which is found in grass seed products made from wheat, rye, oats, barley and other grains. Doctors call this condition “gluten sensitivity” or celiac sprue. A recently published study found that 20% of the products specifically labeled “wheat-free” actually contain wheat protein. Due to poor monitoring by the FDA, intelligent people find it difficult to avoid wheat in modern processed foods. Many other people are unaware that some of their medical problems may be linked to what the obsolete, misleading FDA Food Pyramid incorrectly recommends as the foods we should eat the most of. These ongoing bureaucratic errors remain uncorrected and unforgivable.

 

The health of over 100 million Americans has probably been negatively impacted by the FDA’s erroneous recommendations. The overwhelming scientific information summarized in this material will document in precise detail for you to read. The federal government has now publicly documented its own erroneous disease-causing 1992 Food Pyramid recommendations. Their research reports reveal direct links between the indiscriminate, misinformed, 1992 Food Pyramid and America’s current increasing morbid obesity rates.

 

Tens of millions of Americans have had success losing excess body fat and keeping it off by REDUCING CARBOHYDRATE INTAKE below FDA recommended daily levels. This is especially true when reducing highly-refined white carbohydrates (like bread products), which rapidly increase blood sugar to dangerous harmful levels and quickly turn into stored body fat.

 

A “low fat diet” is overly simplistic. INCREADING intake of certain “healthy fats” (like polyunsaturated oils and omega 3 essential fatty acids) IMPROVES longevity, health and happiness. Some fats are very good and some are extremely bad (like trans fatty acids discussed below and used in the preparation of most modern bread and baked products). The 1992 Food Pyramid ignored crucial information about fats and carbohydrates, resulting in many significant diseases and sad untimely deaths.

 

Baby boomer demographics are predictably increasing the burden on actuarially-unsound government-funded medical assistance programs (the current Medicare and Social Security entitlement subsidies must go bankrupt or seriously slash benefits as baby boomers retire). In addition, the serious errors in the 1992 Food Pyramid are directly responsible for INCREASING the cost to treat avoidable diseased and care for those whose afflictions COULD have been prevented by eliminating very-bad FDA nutrition recommendations.

 

Government agencies are now scrambling to publish significant improvements to the Food Pyramid, but the issues are very complex, controversial and highly-individualized, based on genetics and daily differing demands for energy, oxidative stress, etc. Many nutrition research scientists now feel that the entire concept of any type of Food Pyramid that applies equally to the entire population is highly flawed.

 

Albert Einstein said:

“The thinking which created today’s problems is insufficient to solve them.

 

These profound words certainly apply to the mainstream of modern government incorrect thinking in many diverse areas of public health mismanagement.

 

Even in a single individual, food intake should be very different if you are running a marathon, versus sitting passively in front of a television or a computer. Active children may need far more carbohydrate than sedentary adults. Bread and other (high-glycemic index foods) should be avoided altogether prior to sedentary activities, sleeping, etc. This enlightened concept is called “Demand Based Nutrition”, which can NOT be expressed in a naive, crude, universally incorrect Food Pyramid. It is therefore impossible to apply the flawed thinking (that government agencies used in 1992 to create and encourage today’s morbid obesity epidemic) to correct it, despite the fact that the bureaucratic FDA and groups like the American Dietetic Association. The ADA provided bad input to the 1992 Food Pyramid and the ADA still participates on FDA panels). The ADA continues to cling to their overly simplistic, often wrong, even deadly “business as usual.” The ADA teaches their members flawed conclusions based in incomplete, incomplete, traditional invalid thinking. The ADA does not teach their members how to continually digest research reports or understand how to replace their flawed nutrition conceptual models when new scientific studies clearly refute traditional misunderstanding. Most ADA members are like grade school children waiting to be taught what their leaders have erroneously always believed, rather than self-learning entities with research and critical thinking skills.

 

After reading the following information, please take a look at the life-shortening bad nutrition that ADA certified “nutrition professionals” are serving up in public institutions, hospitals and nursing homes (such as white bread and trans fatty mararine).

 

The ADA’s published lack of awareness of modern medical research is clearly documented on their obsolete website for all to see. They propagate erroneous “conventional wisdom,” which is now known to be the source of many serious health problems (like heart disease and obesity), but the ADA refuses to correct their history of errors or apologize for the health problems they continue to cause (as clearly documented by the CDC).

 

The FDA is making some incremental progress at correcting the public health damage they have done (based on ADA input in years past), but the FDA continues to make progress with their normal bureaucratic slow speed. The crucial nutrition issues are indeed coming under scientific scrutiny. But, how many more millions must suffer needlessly before the average citizen will be motivated to change long-term bad nutrition habits?

 

How many more school children will be taught the flawed FDA Food Pyramid in the new millennium? The analogy is: “How long will it take to get people to stop smoking?” (which is obviously worse for public health than is eating today’s unhealthy bread). The big difference is that the FDA does not recommend school children take up smoking, but the FDA still indiscriminately recommends bread as a primary source of food for children and adults.

 

If people are addicted to smoking, they will often continue to smoke (until a tragedy occurs). Slow progress is being made one generation at a time, based on very-slow assimilation of clear scientific evidence. Our government requires warning labels on tobacco products, but not on products containing white flour (which now does more damages to more people than cigarettes.

 

If people incorrectly believe that modern bread is still the staff of life, then any source (like Joyful Aging) that points out the extreme fallacy of that incorrect belief must surely seem to be in error. Remember that scientists were punished when they began to question whether the earth was the flat center of the universe. Einstein said the “Great spirits have always met strong opposition from mediocre minds.” Please keep an open mind as you read on.

 

Some people react predictably by saying: “Now we learn that everything causes cancer, even familiar bread. Other people live a long healthy life while eating bread. Therefore, I can eat and drink anything I want and not worry about any health issues.”

 

Although the common thought begins correctly with an element of truth, the frequent conclusion is invalid. Just like stopping smoking, it takes time to change our mental images that help us decide what is good and bad to put into our bodies.

 

Joyful Aging believes that the information found herein is essentially reliable. We remain open minded and expect to learn more in the future, but we believe that the foundation of most of this important information will continue to be correct.

 

Analogy: If you continue to smoke after you know for a fact that it is a risk factor for cancer, that is your choice – just don’t teach your children that smoking is a good idea.

 

Similarly, if you continue to eat white bread after reading this material, then that is a decision that will have consequences that impact your future health. All that we ask is that you carefully consider the risk of damage that eating bread may have, especially if you impose the flawed traditional view of nutrition on your offspring and those that you love. Believing that the earth is flat is one thing – It may not impact simple people for thousands of years. But, believing that eating white bread is a good thing to do every day is likely to impact your heath in less than a normal lifetime.

 

The more we search for the absolute truth, the better our lifestyle decisions will become. Please read on.

 

What Is “Bread”?

 

Three millennia ago, healthy natural “bread” contained hand-ground whole beans, and lentils (Ezekiel 4:9). This type of wholesome, nutritionally diverse food was called “the staff of life.” Its wise recipe and the amount that one should consume (as recorded in The Bible) were thought by many to be provided directly by the Word of God. Large numbers of people survived for long periods on nothing but similar nutritious bean cakes and water. Modern misled humans would not recognize Ezekiel 4:9 bean cakes, and we certainly would not call them “bread”, as compared to unhealthy “Wonder Bread” or Big Mac buns.

 

Modern society evolved in part due to the need to gather, agriculturally cultivate, prepare and consume (as a family and a community) the ingredients of healthy wholesome natural-ingredient (bean cake) bread. HOWEVER, modern bread is an extremely different disease-causing substance, as we will explain below with increasing levels of scientific detail.

 

If you don’t care about the underlying scientific medical nutrition research details, the above information may be sufficient for you (but probably not for most people who are long-term slaves of traditional marketing practices and many bad nutrition habits of their parents).

 

If you seek a solid scientific foundation for making a significant change in the things that you eat, please read the following carefully and confirm it with the many technical research links that are provided. Study the topics independently using words introduced in this material – You will find many obsolete points of view, based on the ADA errors and the 1992 Food Pyramid, that the FDA has now recognized was flawed. Continue to study and you will eventually come to precisely the same controversial conclusion presented herein:

 

Modern white bread is bad for your longevity, health and happiness – It should be avoided, ESPECIALLY by adults and by everyone who is overweight or has high blood sugar.

 

What Is In Modern Bread?

 

In stark contrast to ancient “Ezekiel Bread,” today's unhealthy bread and hamburger bun makers usually begin with highly-refined white flour. They still use the misleading name “bread”, but the old and new bread are in no way even remotely similar to each other. The word is the same, but the product definitely is NOT the ancient “staff of life.”

 

You could live a healthy life on the ancient bean cake bread and water, NOT so with the modern white-flour-based, disease-causing product incorrectly called “bread.” We now know that John Montague, the 4th Earl of Sandwich, gave us a really bad culinary invention, which when combined with some bad dietary recommendations, ultimately contributed significantly to the flawed 1992 Food Pyramid and the current pervasive American morbid obesity epidemic. So, what do modern sandwich bread and hamburger buns really contain? We begin with the “pretty” white flour.

 

Today’s white flour makers start with wheat (grass seeds only - no legumes as in Ezekiel 4:9) and they remove the complex outer shell called the bran (beneficial dietary fiber). They either throw it away or sell it to health food stores. Dietary fiber promotes the growth of friendly flora (beneficial bacteria), such as acidophilus, which produces essential vitamins and controls unwanted yeast in the intestinal tract.

 

Flour makers then remove the valuable wheat germ (which contains the nutrients that are useful to human health), because wheat germ gums up their machinery. They sell the nutritious wheat germ to health food stores. Then they take what is left (called the endosperm) and grind it into a fine powder. They bleach it, using an agent that is similar to chlorine bleach. This white flour is used in grade schools to make craft paste, which is exactly what it does in our digestive tract - it becomes “sticky” and causes multiple types of digestive health problems.

 

Now the nutritionless, fiberless, bleached white flour is ready for the added ingredients (like nutritionless, fiberless, white sugar, dough conditioners and potentially toxic artificial preservatives). Our bread is then baked at a high temperature (See the following discussion about cancer-causing “acrylamides” below). The resulting bread, hamburger buns, pastries, pasta, cookies, cake, pie crust, pizza dough, etc. contain only high glycemic index, morbid obesity fat-causing, empty calories with no fiber, no beneficial human nutritional value and multiple FDA-documented cancer causing agents.

 

In 1992, the FDA erroneously thought that it was the high-caloric fats in a hamburger that made people fat, but we now know that the flour in the bun has a great deal to do with increasing body fat, perhaps much more so than properly-prepared meat. FDA Food-Pyramid-recommended white rice is a similar fiberless, nutritionless mouthful of empty fat-causing calories.

 

Knowing that some of more intelligent consumers will not buy products that do not have at least some nutritive value posted on their FDA-mandated label, the flour and bread makers put into their fiberless, nutritionally-void substance, some artificial, coal-tar-derived vitamins and minerals, some of which have now been documented by the FDA to cause cancer. With these sometimes-harmful artificial vitamin and mineral supplements, the flour and bread makers can mislead the public with a label that says "enriched" and unscrupulously pass it on to the uninformed masses as something that is a good food for purely profit-motivated reasons, with no regard for the damage they are doing. In fact, they argued that their “enriched bread” is so good for you that the FDA recommended six to eleven servings per day – GAK! The politics and misleading marketing of this entire mess is extremely frustrating for a well-informed research scientist.

 

Chromium

 

Chromium helps our cells assimilate serum glucose. An estimated 80% of Americans are chromium deficient. Low chromium is linked to the increasing incidence of American diabetes and many complications like neuritis (inflammation, especially of the nerves), diabetic neuropathy (nerve death), blindness, devastating internal organ failures, amputations and ultimately death by heart attack. Bread significantly increases serum glucose (high blood sugar associated with diabetes and obesity). The minor amount of chromium found in whole grain wheat is gone in modern white bread. Chromium is a trace mineral in whole grain wheat, but 72% of it is missing in white flour.

 

Molds and Fungi

 

Common molds and fungi grow rapidly on stored grains like wheat, corn, etc. Molds and fungi are extremely difficult to remove from food. Baking kills some of the molds, but it is obvious that baked bread still becomes moldy rather rapidly, so it must still be present. Molds and fungi produce different types of “mycotoxins” (poisons), which have been scientifically linked to many different diseases including cancers, diabetes, internal organ damage and death.

 

Almost everyone knows that eating most visibly-moldy foods is toxic. We discard green bread, but the point is that these molds and toxins MUST be present in small quantities long before they are visible. When we eat even small quantities of these molds and fungi, and then provide them with a bath of sugars and starches in our intestines, they can grow exponentially inside us and produce large quantities of disease-and-death-causing mycotoxins. Very few medical professionals recognize the cause-and-effect connection between bread, mold, fungi and disease. Most medical doctors have almost no formal training in these issues. Some mycologists are a valuable exception.

 

One example: Aflatoxin fungi are commonly found in grains, peanuts, etc. They are invisible to the naked eye. Two known strains (Aspergillus flavus and Aspergillus parasiticus), produce well-known toxic and carcinogenic compounds. These toxins can be higher in products like starchy bread and sugar-added peanut butter. President Jimmy Carter’s family raised peanuts. There is a statistically significant history of death by cancer in the Carter family (and other peanut farmers), but Jimmie avoided cancer by leaving the moldy agricultural environment. You must draw your own conclusion about the potential cause-and-effect relationship, but there is significant scientific laboratory and epidemiological evidence about the underlying statistical risk factors, which result in avoidable pain, suffering, medical expense and early death.

 

A peanut butter and jelly sandwich is probably an unhealthy thing to feed anyone, for a variety of good reasons. Eating one sandwich won’t kill you, just like smoking one cigarette does not have an immediate impact. It is the long-term accumulation of many avoidable lifestyle risk factors that eventually results in cancer and other devastating diseases, which have difficult-to-document long-term cause and effect relationships.

 

Yeast

 

Another health problem with many types of bread products is yeast. Almost every food that is fermented (like beer and wine), or is moldy (like blue cheese, mushrooms, grains and peanuts), contains yeast and also contributes to yeast growth. Many types of yeast thrive on sugar and starch inside our bodies.

 

When the dietary fiber (bran) is removed from wheat to make white flour, it reduces the media that promotes the growth of beneficial bacteria (like acidophilus), which produces essential vitamins and helps control unwanted yeast in the intestinal tract.

 

When you eat flour and sugar together, (as in many desserts), combined with an internal yeast build up (which incubates them at a perfect 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit), you can generate various forms of neurotoxic alcohol. Yeast can turn a person's body into a very efficient alcohol producing "still." Genetic variations and lifestyle choices (like exercise and the sugary things we eat and drink) can make this effect vary significantly from one individual to the next. Blood alcohol (whether ingested or manufactured internally) can directly and indirectly cause many health problems including headaches, vascular damage, strokes, heart attacks, degenerative nerve disease, dementia, memory loss, vision problems, depression, lethargy, poor job performance, personality changes, poor judgment, slow reaction time, deadly accidents, stomachaches, liver damage, breast cancer (and other forms of cancer), poor digestion and improper metabolism. The measurable nerve and liver damage associated with internal yeast fermentation is seldom as rapid as with ingested alcohol, but the long-term net brain, vascular and liver damage is essentially the same.

 

When you eat a diet that is high in refined carbohydrates (sugar, flour, fructose, corn syrup, etc.), your intestinal flora and fauna (like Candida Albicons yeast germs) can proliferate exponentially, along with various forms of harmful bacteria, molds and fungi. Increased numbers of yeast and harmful bacteria generate well-known cell-killing toxins, which depress the immune system and increase your susceptibility to food-and-chemical allergies (wheat and many other things), infections, cancer, internal organ damage, and many serious illnesses.

 

Iron

 

There is a very fine (measurable) line between the minimum level of iron that we must have to remain healthy, and what is excessive. Iron is an abundant essential element necessary for our blood’s oxygen-carrying hemoglobin. Children and menstruating women need iron to build and replace red blood cells, but iron supplements that are indiscriminately added to bread and flour products are harmful and even deadly to a large number of people with high serum ferritin (SF) levels.

 

Ferritin is an iron-protein complex in blood that is a marker for iron storage. A study published in the February 11, 2004 Journal of the American Medical Association found that people with elevated SF had nearly a threefold increase in the development of type 2 diabetes, which causes a variety of devastating diseases.

 

Too much iron stored in our tissues can do severe damage to our cells, tissues and internal organs. For the many men over 40 and post-menopausal women with high iron storage, the iron supplements in almost all commercial flour and bread products can accelerating aging and do serious damage, leading to a painful death.

 

Excess iron accumulates in the liver causing liver enlargement and cascading damage to many other organs. Excess iron can cause the liver enzyme tests of people with high iron counts to look like those of people who have been badly abusing alcohol for many years (even though they never drink a drop of alcohol). This can drastically reduce longevity and quality of life. The double damage caused by high iron plus alcohol (whether consumed or generated internally by yeasts from bread, etc.) can combine to destroy the liver. The complications of an expensive (rare) liver transplant have many extremely negative implications. Excess iron can cause diabetes (pancreas and insulin receptor damage), cardio vascular damage and arthritis, all of which greatly accelerate the rate of aging, pain, suffering, and ultimately the needless tragedy of early death.

 

Tissue iron measurably accumulates as a function of age. Menstruating women monthly reduce their iron levels, but many men (especially over age 40) and postmenopausal women develop excessively high iron storage counts (as shown by SF level above 20 ng/ml, in modern comprehensive blood analysis).

 

”Hemochromatosis” (excessive tissue iron storage) is the result of ingesting and absorbing too much iron or iron supplements (common in almost all bread / flour products). Hemochromatosis damage can be aggravated and accelerated by ingestion of (otherwise beneficial) vitamin C, which enhances iron absorption. In this way, bread plus fruit (highly recommended by the inept and indiscriminate 1992 FDA Food Pyramid) can do even greater damage.

 

There is an inherited “HFE gene” (on chromosome 6 in human DNA) that is statistically linked to excessive tissue iron build up. Hemochromatosis is one of the most commonly inherited genetic disorders. Many people at risk are not aware of the potential problem, and thus, cannot understand the cause-and-effect relationship between their iron intake and the diseases that they and their relatives are having. Mutations in the HFE gene (C282Y and H63D) can contribute significantly to the likelihood of developing “hereditary hemochromatosis” (HHC). An accurate test is now available for these commonly inherited HFE gene mutations. (See American Hemochromatosis Society)

 

The human body has no mechanism to lower excessive iron levels other than blood loss, such as menstruation, periodic blood donation or phlebotomy. The Hemochromatosis Foundation explicitly states that “chelation or taking supplements of vitamins, minerals, herbs, antioxidants”, etc. are NOT recommended by their scientific advisory board for the hereditary form of hemochromatosis. These alternative treatments (which have been recommended by some uninformed, deluded-or-dishonest quacks) can interfere with the rapid elimination of excess body iron and may hasten the onset of serious injury, especially to the liver. For example, (otherwise beneficial) vitamin C is well known to enhance tissue iron absorption, which may be good for children and menstruating women, but very bad for people with any form of excess tissue iron storage.

 

Both males and females show progressive iron accumulation and storage with age, which increases significantly in post-menopausal women (who in turn have much higher incidence of breast cancer). Importantly, blood and breast iron levels are known to be high in breast cancer patients. Excess iron levels are directly linked to breast cancer development (through our body’s increased production of free radical oxidants like hydrogen peroxide).

 

Thus, iron levels should be regularly monitored in older people, and especially in those who are at hereditary risk or who have previously been shown to be high. Excess iron has many long-term potentially-devastating impacts, and should be dealt with quickly as soon as it is detected, before permanent irreversible damage is done to almost every organ in the body.

 

According to the AHS Guidelines for the Screening, Diagnosis, Treatment, and Management of Patients with Hereditary Hemochromatosis/Iron Overload:

 

“Once the diagnosis of hereditary Hemochromatosis / iron overload has been made …, the patient should be aggressively phlebotomized by prescription using the following criteria until serum ferritin (storage iron) is brought to 20 ng/ml or less.  The prescription should read: “Phlebotomize this patient (remove blood to lower stored iron) one to two times per week as long as hematocrit remains >35% and until serum ferritin is lower than 20.  Diagnosis: Hemochromatosis"

 

Once the serum ferritin is below 20 ng/ml, the patient should go on a maintenance phlebotomy program, usually three to four times annually, for the rest of his/her life.  Clinicians who do not have experience with hemochromatosis diagnosis/treatment should consult a medical expert.  AHS can provide such experts for consultation.

 

The age-related progression of baby boomer hemochromatosis is placing an ever-increasing burden on scarce medical subsidy funds. The serious public health impact of excess iron build up and concerned consumer / patient advocacy groups finally motivated the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) to recently sponsor a scientific study is to validate the association between the common mutations in the HFE gene and the development of hereditary Hemochromatosis (HHC). The NIH-sponsored study will also search for other genes that may be involved in excess iron storage. This important human genome epidemiological genotyping study of HHC will analyze a broad cross-section of over 100,000 Americans of varying geographic, ethnic and cultural backgrounds, to document risk profiles for hemochromatosis.

 

Patients found with high SF iron overload (of any type) should be warned NOT to:

 

Even people with the non-hereditary form of excess iron accumulation (as shown in blood tests) should probably follow the above instructions for patients with HHC iron overload, including NOT eating bread products. The total number of older people who should follow these recommendations is large.

 

You cannot know what is correct for you without proper blood tests, which will change over time.

 

Other Dietary Risk Factors

 

Other things that can contribute to the many health risk factors linked to bread / flour products include high temperature cooking (discussed below), beer, wine, pizza, invisible molds and fungi, cheese (especially aged moldy cheeses), trans fatty acids (margarine, on toast, etc. discussed below), sweet drinks, sweet foods, desserts and many forms of natural and refined sugar, which are in almost every modern processed food, especially breakfast cereals (incorrectly recommended highly in the seriously-flawed, overly-simplistic 1992 FDA Food Pyramid, based on input from “expert nutritionists”).

 

The best way to reduce many of the cumulative, age-accelerating damage (discussed above) is through significant dietary changes. The negative impact of processed foods can be partially reduced by minimizing exposure to poor nutrition and eating natural sources of antiaging antioxidants. The more antioxidants you consume, the more oxidative toxins and carcinogens you can defend against, but be cautious about indiscriminate, excessive levels of food supplements (as discussed above).

 

Carcinogenic Processed Wheat Products

 

In 2002, medical research scientists discovered the clue to the chemical reaction that causes baked starchy foods like bread to build up high levels of “acrylamide” a well-known, cancer-causing substance that is tightly controlled in drinking water by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

 

“Asparagine” is a naturally-occurring amino acid found in carbohydrate foods that, when heated with sugars such as glucose, forms the acrylamide carcinogen. Many natural uncooked foods contain enzymes – proteins made up of amino acids that act as a catalyst and aid in the metabolism of the food, so the body can use it effectively. The higher the temperature used to prepare a starchy food and the longer it is cooked, the more likely that the three dimensional chemical structure of its enzymes will denature (break down) and become inactive, ineffective, or worse yet, a toxic, cancer-causing mutagen like acrylamide.

 

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration made determining how to lower acrylamide levels in food “one of its highest research priorities,” according to an aggressive plan that FDA officials presented to consumer advocacy groups and food manufacturers on September 30, 2002.

 

Canada's government previously discovered the acrylamide / asparagine chemical reaction and quickly ordered food manufacturers to look for ways to alter it and lower acrylamide levels in foods. Cincinnati-based manufacturer Procter & Gamble Co. says that its scientists have also found the asparagine / acrylamide connection and are looking into what can be done.

 

These studies provide the first clues to solve the mystery of acrylamide, since Swedish scientists accurately announced on April 24, 2002 that high levels of the carcinogen are in numerous common foods, such as: bread, breakfast cereals, french fries and potato chips – all high-carbohydrate foods that are fried or baked at high temperatures. The cancer is cause not by the natural food, but by how the food is processed. Acrylamide can be high in cocoa, chocolate, coffee, smoked nuts, peanut butter, dried soups, popcorn, and cereals. Acrylamide was not found in boiled or microwaved foods, which are cooked at much lower temperatures, often for shorter periods of time.

 

Sweden's frightening findings were confirmed in June 2002 by governments in Norway, Britain and Switzerland. Preliminary testing of a sample of foods by the FDA (below) shows that many American foods contain very high acrylamide levels, said Richard Canady, who is directing the FDA assessment of acrylamide’s serious health risks.

 

Acrylamide is also used to produce plastics and dyes, and to purify drinking water. Although small traces of it are present in our drinking water and in foods packaged in plastic, prior to 2002, no one suspected such high levels of the cancer-causing agent in our basic processed foods, like bread, etc.

 

Acrylamide consistently causes cancer in test animals. Swedish scientists state that the known levels of acrylamide in food may be directly responsible for many of cases of cancer in Sweden each year (and also in all countries that process their foods in a similar manner).

 

The U.S. FDA has responded much slower to the 2002 scientific evidence than Sweden, Norway, Britain, Canada and Switzerland. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) National Institutes of Health (NIH) “Carcinogen Report” has long cautioned that “Acrylamide is reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen based on sufficient evidence of carcinogenicity in experimental animals.” The FDA still fails to advise consumers to alter their eating habits to avoid known high sources of acrylamide, despite the multiple reproducible studies performed by other countries. U.S. government agencies communicate poorly and move very slowly. The DHHS NIH and FDA continue to publish conflicting, inconsistent, contradictory reports and recommendations.

 

The FDA now has an expensive acrylamide research plan (preliminary partial results reported below), but ”should give the public better advice,” said Michael Jacobsen of the consumer group Center for Science in the Public Interest. “People should be consuming less (of these foods) for other reasons … and the government should have been urging that anyway. Here is yet another reason.”

 

For now, FDA’s Canady would only restate the obsolete indiscriminate Food Pyramid that created much of our current problem in the first place: “We want to reinforce ... eating a balanced diet with plenty of fruits and vegetables. That's the best way to ensure that you're getting adequate nutrition.” He failed to hint that some fruits and vegetables are much better than others, or that how they are prepared can turn them into toxic carcinogens. He failed to mention the concept of Demand-Based Nutrition.

 

The food industry stresses that while fried potato products are getting most of the bad publicity, cancer-causing acrylamide is in a wide variety of our basic foods like bread and cereals (recommend by the FDA in 1992).

 

Regardless of the profit-motivated defense of the status quo by food producers (who have billions of dollars at stake), the new asparagine clue is actually encouraging. It should eventually lead to consumer enlightenment, and reductions in devastating disease caused directly by the way we traditionally prepare our basic foods.

 

Quick Summary: For now, reducing high glycemic index carbohydrates, especially those that are cooked at high temperatures, may be the most prudent thing for health conscious consumers to do. The prevalent method of frying or baking with hydrogenated trans-fatty acids combines to greatly increase the risk of both cancer AND coronary heart disease. Microwave cooking (at lower temperatures for shorter times) in glass (like Pyrex or Corningware), without saturated fat, or with polyunsaturated fats, is a far superior solution to traditional baking and frying of high-carbohydrate foods.

 

Maximum Limit of Acrylamide

 

Following ingestion, acrylamide is readily absorbed from the gastrointestinal tract and widely distributed in body fluids. Acrylamide can cross the placenta and damage unborn children. It is neurotoxic, affects germ cells, and impairs reproductive function.

 

In mutagenicity assays, acrylamide induced gene mutations in mammalian cells and chromosomal aberrations in vitro and in vivo. In a long-term carcinogenicity study in rats exposed via drinking-water, acrylamide induced scrotal, thyroid, and adrenal tumors in males, and mammary (breast), thyroid, and uterine tumors in females. On the basis of the available information, it was concluded that acrylamide is a dangerous genotoxic carcinogen.

 

How many women suffering the emotional and physical pain of breast cancer understand that eating bread is a suspected risk factor and also one of the FDA’s highest research priorities in 2003?

 

Environmental protection agencies long ago set maximum limits for acrylamide in drinking water at levels ranging from 0.1 parts per billion (ppb) (European Union), to 0.5 ppb (US EPA), to 1.0 ppb (World Health Organization - WHO). If governments have demanded no more than 1 ppb of carcinogenic acrylamide in our water, how much should be in our basic food, like bread?

 

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Exploratory Data on Acrylamide in Foods

(http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~dms/acrydata.html)

U.S. Department of Health and Human Services

Food and Drug Administration - Center for Food Safety and Applied Nutrition

 

December 4, 2002

 

On April 24, 2002, researchers at the Swedish National Food Administration and Stockholm University reported finding the chemical acrylamide in a variety of fried and oven-baked foods at more than an alarming rate of 100 ppb (parts per billion).

 

The initial Swedish research indicates that acrylamide formation is particularly associated with traditional high temperature cooking processes for certain carbohydrate-rich foods. In response to concerns about the potential risk of food-borne acrylamide based on known toxicity of acrylamide at much higher doses than those seen in foods, the FDA began to analyze a variety of U.S. food products for acrylamide. The data presented below are initial and partial results from an ongoing exploratory survey of foods for acrylamide. FDA's action plan and full research agenda are presented at http://www.cfsan.fda.gov/~lrd/pestadd.html#acrylamide. We are presenting this incomplete data set now to inform the public of FDA's progress and to help stimulate research into the formation of acrylamide in foods. (You will hear much more from government agencies about acrylamide in our basic food in the near future.)

 

At a public meeting held on September 30, 2002, FDA discussed preliminary findings on acrylamide in a select group of food products to illustrate initial conclusions concerning variability that can be drawn from the early stages in the exploratory survey. Since the public meeting, FDA has continued to study acrylamide in a wide variety of foods, including breads, cereals, and snack foods in an effort to understand the occurrence of this chemical in the U.S. food supply. FDA will continue to investigate how acrylamide is formed in food, seek to identify ways to reduce acrylamide levels, and study the human health risk of consuming acrylamide in foods. FDA is collaborating with other federal public health agencies, international partners, academia, consumers, and the food-processing industry to coordinate efforts related to acrylamide in foods.

 

The following preliminary data include information that was the basis for the graphs presented at the September 30, 2002, public meeting as well as additional data collected through November 15, 2002.

 

Disclaimer: This is exploratory data and should not be taken to indicate the distribution of acrylamide levels in all U.S. foods, or as an indicator of food product choices by consumers.

 

In relation to the level of sampling that is needed to understand exposure and risk, the data cover a limited number of food categories, a limited number of products in those categories, and a limited number of brands.

 

The data generally do not address unit-to-unit variation or lot-to-lot variation, which can be significant.

 

Differences in acrylamide levels between foods or even between brands at this early point in the survey do not necessarily indicate differences in exposure or potential risk that would be experienced by consumers. When estimating exposure and potential risk it is important to consider the amount of the food consumed and the day to day variation in levels, in addition to the level of acrylamide measured at a particular time.

 

Baked products were baked according to the manufacturers' directions. Fried products (tortillas) were fried for 1 minute at 155 °C. Some products are intended to be eaten without further cooking (e.g., bread); other products, although partially precooked by the manufacturer, are intended to be eaten only with further cooking. Notice that acrylamide in bread increases if it is toasted. Also notice the dangerous carcinogen in baby foods.

 

These preliminary findings indicate ppb acrylamide levels in individual processed wheat products. The worst are listed first. Carcinogenic acrylamide levels greater than 1 ppb far exceed the U.S. EPA and World Health Organization controlled maximum limits for drinking water, and are therefore considered unsafe.

 

Wasa Original Crispbread Fiber Rye

504

Sara Lee Plain Mini Bagels (toasted)

343

Herr's Extra Thin Pretzels

309

Dare Breton Thin Wheat Crackers

300

Pepperidge Farm Original White Bread (toasted)

216

Streit's Lightly Salted Matzos

182

Gerber Finger Foods Biter Biscuits

130

Keebler Town House Crackers Reduced Fat

130

Indian flat bread (from local restaurant)

125

Nabisco Arrowroot Biscuit (baby food)

113

Stella D'Oro Anisette Toast Cookies

107

Nabisco Chips Ahoy! Chewy Chocolate Chip Cookies

97

Kellogg's Frosted Mini-Wheats

78

Utz Unsalted Sourdough Specials

70

General Mills Cinnamon Toast Crunch

61

Gerber Graduates for Toddlers
Animal Crackers

60

Pepperidge Farm Natural Whole Grain
Whole Wheat (toasted)

59

Sara Lee Plain Mini Bagels (not toasted)

58

Sara Lee Honey Wheat Bagels (toasted)

57

Pepperidge Farm Cheddar Goldfish

57

Maruchan Instant Lunch Ramen Noodles
with Vegetables Chicken Flavor

52

Super G Bread Crumbs Regular Style

42

Super G Unsalted Tops Crackers

41

Contadina Bread Crumbs Three Cheese

39

Pepperidge Farm Original White Bread
(not toasted)

36

Pepperidge Farm Dark Pump Pumpernickel (not toasted)

34

Lipton Asian Side Dishes Teriyaki Noodles

34

Boboli Italian Pizza Crust (not baked)

33

Sara Lee Honey Wheat Bagels (not toasted)

27

Red Oval Farms Mini Stoned Wheat Thins

26

Shoppers Food Warehouse Cake Doughnut

24

Boboli Italian Pizza Crust (baked)

24

Nabisco Zwieback Toast (baby food)

20

La Banderita Flour Tortillas (fried)

15

Shoppers Food Warehouse Plain Doughnut

14

Super G Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

12

Kraft Macaroni & Cheese Dinner

11

 

(Click here to see acrylamide in other non-wheat baked and fried foods.)

 

Most Breads Contain Deadly “Trans Fatty Acids”

 

Fatty acids come in two forms: “trans” and “cis.” These two terms refer to the direction of folding that occurs at the carbon double bonds in unsaturated fatty acids. The natural molecular shape of fatty acids is a “cis” form (curved/bent/folded shape). Essential cis fatty acids are incorporated into the membranes of all human cells and mitochondria (cellular metabolic processes). When cis form unsaturated vegetable oils are subjected to hydrogenation (bubbling hydrogen in the oil) or exposed to high temperatures (above 320 degrees Fahrenheit), during refining processes or cooking, the cis form changes to an unnatural “trans” form (straight) and becomes solid at room temperature.

 

A “trans fatty acid” is chemically identical to the cis form, but the resulting unnatural product does not react to normal human metabolic enzymes like the original natural vegetable oil cis fatty acid that it was made from. The distorted trans fat molecular structures alter and weaken numerous physiological functions of the membranes and metabolic processes. The enzymes that deal with vegetable fats are unable to correctly digest and assimilate the unnatural trans fatty acids The enzymes are overloaded trying ineffectively to metabolize the unfamiliar unnatural trans fats. This leads to a variety significant medical problems in processing the fats we eat.

 

Trans fats increase bad cholesterol and lower good (heart disease fighting) cholesterol. This clogs arteries, increases obesity, accelerates aging and causes deadly heart disease, high blood pressure and strokes. The additional adverse effects of trans fats may be due to the fact that they significantly raise “triglycerides”, compared to other types of fats. Unnatural trans fats have other uniquely-adverse metabolic impacts that are still being investigated, including a possible link to breast cancer.

 

On average, Americans consume about 100 pounds of dangerous trans fats per year. Some health and nutrition experts feel that the total elimination of trans fat consumption should be the most important single priority to improve American health.

 

There are high levels of trans fats in most margarines, shortenings, fast foods, convenience foods, fried foods and many common bakery goods, like bread, cookies, pies, pizza and cakes. Trans fats are about three times worse than saturated fats in relation to increasing the risk of heart disease. Eating a stick of butter could be much better than eating all of the trans fats in popular children’s’ fast food. Butter is a natural food that is acceptable in limited quantities, but trans fats (like margarine and those used in many fried and baked foods) should be avoided altogether.

 

Consider the following material (condensed from The Lancet, Volume 357:746-51, March 10, 2001).

 

Research data continues to accumulate about the association between trans fatty acids and the risk for coronary heart disease. Trans fats clearly raise “bad cholesterol” (LDL – low density lipoproteins) and lower the “good cholesterol” (HDL – high density lipoproteins). Because of this double detrimental affect, you only need to eat 4 to 5 grams per day to have a major increase in risk of heart disease.

 

One of the latest reported studies on trans fats was made on a group of 667 elderly men. Researchers did careful diet analysis on individuals and then followed them for 10 years to evaluate health outcomes. They divided the group, based on their intake of trans fatty acids, into three equal size groups. The first group had the lowest intake of trans fats. The last group had the highest intake, and the middle group included those in between. Setting the first group’s risk to a reference level of 1.0, the middle group had a 34% increased risk of heart disease. The group with the highest intake of trans fats had a 100% increased risk (twice the risk).

 

A small 2% increase in trans fat intake resulted in a 28% increase in heart disease and a 34% increase in mortality from heart disease. This increased risk remains even after adjusting for other possible confounding variables: age, body mass index, smoking, use of vitamins, alcohol, specific types of fat in the diet, dietary cholesterol, and dietary fiber. Previous studies found similar results:

 

  Health Professional Follow-up Study

43,757 men

3% increased risk

 

 

 

  Alpha-Tocopherol Cancer Prevention Study

21,930 men

15% increased risk

 

 

 

  Nurse’s Health Study

80,082 women

62% increased risk

 

When the data was pooled for the statistically significant 146,436 persons in all four of these large studies, a 2% increase in calories from trans fatty acids resulted in a 25% increase in risk of heart disease.

 

It is remarkable to realize that such a small change in the diet could potentially cut our nation’s leading cause of death by 25%!

 

To reduce your intake of trans fatty acids, avoid typical snack foods, fast foods, deep-fried foods (fries, chips, doughnuts, etc.), convenience foods with added fat, margarine and shortening, and most baked goods (including commercial breads, cookies, cake, and pie crust). (Also see Acrylamide).

 

Look on processed food labels for “partially hydrogenated”. If present, the food contains dangerous trans fatty acids. Understand also that if you cook some foods above 300 degrees Fahrenheit, you can inadvertently produce dangerous trans fatty acids.

 

If you reduce your intake of trans fats by only 2% of calories per day, you may reduce your risk of heart disease by 25% or more. The Nurse’s Health Study showed an even higher risk reduction of 61% for women.

 

If you read all of the above and you still plan to eat white bread and feed it to your children, then both of us have sure wasted a lot of time. (smile)

 

Bottom Line Summary: If you want to live a long, happy, healthy life,

AVOID: HIGH BLOOD SUGAR, ALL SOURCES OF ACRYLAMIDES and
TRANS FATS, INCLUDING BREAD. INCREASE INTAKE OF ANTIOXIDANTS.

 

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