10 trans fat foods to body swerve

Confused about trans fats? You are not the only one.  See our handy list of the 10 worst transfat food culprits to avoid below.

Until UK food manufacturers, retailers and fast food outlets eliminate trans fats from their products completely, avoid these 10 processed foods that can contain trans fats;

  1. Margarine. Some brands have removed transfats, but check for ‘mono and diglycerides of fatty acids’’.
    Tip. Use butter sparingly instead.
  2. Artificial (non dairy) creams and instant sauces. Check the label of instant custards and artificial cream for hydrogenated vegetable oil.
    Tip: Make your own custard and use real cream.
  3. Fast food / takeaways. Most fried food; fries, chicken and deep-fried  foods use partially hydrogenated oil. It’s tricky, because even when the restaurant outlet don’t use transfats, foods like fries are sometimes partially fried in trans fat before they’re shipped to the restaurant.
    Tip: Skip the pies and fries.
  4. Baked goods (cookies, biscuits etc). Yes your favourite muffin or biscuit bought from the supermarket may contain trans fats. In fact, trans fats are used in commercially baked products more than any other foods. Watch out for cookies and cakes with shortening-based frostings, some supermarket bakeries use plenty of trans fat.
    Tip: Put your pinny on and bake them yourself.
  5. Cake and biscuit mixes. Look out for partially hydrogenated soybean and / or cottonseed oil.
    Tip: Add baking powder and flour to your shopping basket and do it your self.
  6. Frozen pizza. A serving of certain brands of frozen pizza can contain up to 4 grams of these harmful trans fats.
    Tip: Check the ingredients or make your own.
  7. Microwave meals. Frozen dinners are often loaded with trans-fat.
    Tip: Check the ingredients, or make a bulk pot of home made stew to make dinners quicker and easier during the working week.
  8. Donuts. Even donuts from supermarket bakeries use transfats. Watch out for Emulsifiers (Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids) on the label.
  9. Frozen pies. Often somewhere in a very long list of ingredients you will find emulsifier (Mono and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids). Avoid.
  10. Ice Cream. Yes, that joyful spoon is a fat bomb heading straight for your stomach. Read the ingredients list, and put any products containing emulsifier (Mono- and Diglycerides of Fatty Acids) back on the shelf.

If in doubt…

Always check the ingredients lists for hydrogenated fats or hydrogenated vegetable oils because food manufacturers in the UK do not have to label trans fats.

Anytime you read ‘partially hydrogenated oil’ or ‘hydrogenated oil’ on the list of ingredients, it means the foods in question contains trans fats. Also, watch out for  ingredients listed as  ‘mono and diglycerides of fatty acids’ which are often listed on donuts, ice-cream and even bread.

If you enjoy a cheeky take away at the weekend – beware! Fast food shops and chains re-use cooking oils which will create even more trans fats. Always ask them how often they change their oil and which oil they use. Or a better solution – just don’t go!

What’s the fuss about trans fats?

Trans fats are in the news because the US is going to ban trans fats. Yes, coming from the country that has ‘fries with everything’, it’s a big deal.

Since US companies were forced to label trans fats the consumption has dropped by about 78%. The FDA (powerful food banning arm of the federal government) expect an all out ban to reduce the number of patients with coronary heart disease and heart attacks.

The bottom line

Industrial trans fats from partially hydrogenated oils are toxic. They have no nutritional value whatsoever! Avoid them! These artificial fats are introduced into our foods during the making of processed and fried foods. Processed foods typically include anything that is put into a can, packaged into a box or bag.

What are trans fats?

Also known as trans fatty acids or TFA, they are fats that are found in small amounts in a large variety of foods. They are artificially made when vegetable oils are hydrogenated, by using a kind of turkey baster that injects hydrogen atoms into a liquid (eg. unsaturated fat – a good fat) fat, making them more solid. These hardened fats are then used in cooking, baking, to lengthen the shelf life of products you buy in the supermarket.

(Note: Natural trans fats are found in grass-fed meats and dairy products that come from pasture-raised animal. These are the exception to the rule when talking about trans fats and are called conjugated linoleic acids or CLA. CLA has both anticancer and antiobesity properties…and is good for you, unlike man-made trans fats. What we’re concerned about here is, the artificial ones made industrially by food manufacturers to keep supermarket food fresher longer).

Should I be concerned?

Yes. Here in the UK they are not banned. We rely on an informal agreement called the Responsibility Deal that relies on the industry to self regulate and to reduce trans fats in our food. We don’t even label them properly in the UK!

Despite the protestations from the food industry that everything is ‘heading in the right direction’ and that we don’t need to ban them, trans fats are still in a huge range of foods – many of which are aimed at children.

Just think about it… ice creams, sweets, cereal bars, sweets, cookies, chocolate, stuffing mixes, margarine, ready made cakes, microwave ready meals. So although the amounts in each food product may be small, if you are eating a lot of processed foods your overall intake of this toxic ingredient will add up.

Why hasn’t the UK banned trans fats?

All the experts agrees that trans fats have no known health benefits but have clear health risks.  The consumption of trans fats has been linked to coronary heart disease, stroke, elevated blood pressure, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, prostate and breast cancers, Type 2 diabetes, liver dysfunction, infertility, depression, and even aggression. Wow, that’s a lot of problems.

Written in the British Medical Journal (BMJ) on the 16th September 2015, experts said around 7,200 deaths from heart disease could be prevented in England over the next five years if the artificial fats were banned. That’s a saving of approximately £265m a year, according to a study in the BMJ.

  • In The Telegraph, Dr Tim Chico, a consultant cardiologist at the University of Sheffield, said it was clear that artificially-manufactured trans fats, “whose use only benefits the food industry”, increase the risk of heart disease.
  • In The Independent, Professor Peter Weissberg, medical director of the British Heart Foundation, said that trans fats had no known benefits and “clear health risks” adding that other countries were “well ahead of us” in efforts to cut back consumption.

Yet, despite Denmark, Switzerland, Iceland, Sweden, Austria and now the US all banning trans fats outright, the UK government will continue with an informal approach where the food industry is allowed to self regulate their use of trans fat in processed foods.

Where does responsibility lie?

Unlike the US’s decision to ban trans fats by 2018, the UK’s government’s agreement with large manufacturers of processed foods is a voluntary arrangement called the Responsibility Deal. Within the ‘Responsibility Deal’ manufacturers have pledged that they are committed to removing trans fats from their food products.

So, in reality, the responsibility is on you, not the government, food manufacturers or retailers. Trust the food manufacturers to put people before profit or educate yourself and avoid all foods with hydrogenated fats or hydrogenated vegetable oils in the ingredients list.

More reading on Trans Fats

Endometriosis cause and cure

Endometriosis (pronounced en- doh – mee – tree – oh – sis) is a condition that is little understood, and can be misdiagnosed for years. It really deserves more attention, especially since it is such a life-destroying issue.

Endometriosis is the second most common gynaecological condition. It is estimated that around 1.5 – 2 million women in the UK have endometriosis and it affects between 10-15% of women worldwide.

Endometriosis can affect all women and girls of a childbearing age, regardless of race or ethnicity.

Conventional medicine believes there is no cause for this condition, so therefore, no cure. Of course, if there is no cause then there can’t possibly be a cure, right?

What exactly is Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a condition that is found in the female reproductive system. The cells that form the lining of the uterus (known as the endometrium) grow outside of the uterus rather than within it, commonly in the pelvis, fallopian tubes, abdomen or ovaries. These areas of tissue growing outside the uterus are known as, ‘uterine implants’.

With endometriosis the tissue outside the uterus is affected by the hormonal changes of menstruation just as the uterine lining is affected by hormonal changes. So when you have a period, the uterine implant bleeds, just as it would, were it inside the uterus: thickening, breaking down and bleeding.

Since there is no where for the blood to go, it sets up an inflammatory process, which goes on to cause great discomfort and pain. These implants can also make their own oestrogens by way of a process called ‘aromatase’: the conversion of testosterone to oestrogens, which go onto stimulate the endometrium. These implants can migrate into the muscle wall of the uterus (adenomyosis), causing bleeding into the uterine muscle during the menstrual cycle, causing intense pain. They can also migrate to the spinal cord, causing extreme lower back pain. With endometriosis you may also experience excess bleeding and cramping, along with fatigue, bloating, and painful intercourse.

What is the cause of Endometriosis?

The cause is quite simply a hormonal imbalance; an excess of oestrogens is the culprit. An excess of oestrogens is commonly known as oestrogen dominance. Oestrogens and progesterone are a group of two female reproductive hormones that work together as a team and need to be in balance for our general health and protection, and to prevent oestrogen dominance. Progesterone is responsible for protecting our heart and bones, and has an anticancer effect, especially against that of breast cancer and endometrial cancer. It also helps prevent endometriosis.

What is the cure for Endometriosis?

Your conventional doctor may offer you pain killers, that really don’t resolve the situation. They may also suggest taking synthetic hormones such as the contraceptive pill, to hopefully balance out hormones. They don’t! You don’t want more oestrogens floating around, you already have enough. And the pill is certainly not a ‘permanent fix’ for endometriosis, and offer some nasty side-effects, including breast cancer.

As endometriosis seems be due to an excess of oestrogens, supplementing with bioidentical progesterone alone is very advantageous. Progesterone can modify the action of oestrogens, therefore reduce the amount of time oestrogens stay on the receptor sites, and at the same time decrease the amount of circulating oestrogens. Natural progesterone also helps decrease the amount of uterine contractions that are one of the causes of pain in women with endometriosis.

No need to suffer anymore! Restore your body and regain balance!

5 Perimenopause Reads for Menopause Awareness Month 2015

menopause awareness peri-menopause

For Menopause Awareness Month 2015, I am focusing on the perimenopause because it’s vital women are armed with information in their early 40s. Understanding the hormonal changes in your body and the role they play in your health and quality of life is the first step in dealing with the perimenopause, menopause and the ageing process.

Furthermore, I want to turn this life stage, that is traditionally considered negative, into a positive! I wrote the book, The Hormone Cure: Hormonal Health, to share my own experience of the menopause, the difficulties I faced and how I overcame them by restoring my body to optimal hormonal levels. I wish this information had been available to me when I hit 40!

Perimenopause

Let me tackle one misconception about the menopause early on. The menopause is when you stop having your period for one whole year. But… and not every women is aware of this… the six to thirteen years leading up to that are characterised by symptoms such as hot flushes, disturbed sleep, bone loss, irritability, mixed up emotions and mood changes, to name just a few. This period of time is known as perimenopause. It can be a difficult transition, not just for women, but also for their husbands, partners, friends, children, and the entire family.

Be Prepared

Although the menopause is a normal part of ageing, many women are not fully prepared for the symptoms. The symptoms are caused by fluctuating hormone levels. We are all different, so although your friend may experience hot flushes that leave her gasping for breath, you may not. Instead you may have migraines, brain fog or forgetfulness (one of my girlfriends drove off with her handbag on the roof of her car not just once, but almost every morning!)

For others, mood swings are a burden, not just for them but their entire family who have to tiptoe around on eggshells in order to avoid yet another unexplainable, wild tantrum.

It doesn’t have to be this way! Contrary to the conventional menopause stereotypes that we often see in the media, you can have a happy, healthy, strong and sexually vibrant life, into your forties, fifties and beyond. The key is to get the right information early on.

So, get informed now, read my 5 most popular articles on the menopause.

  1. I’m too young for this! Perimenopause is the precursor to the menopause no one tells you about. Read more…
  2. What to expect from the perimenopause. What to expect from perimenopause but more importantly, what you DO NOT have to accept about it! Read more…
  3. The emotional side of menopause. I often hear from women saying that they feel anxious, sad, depressed, or that they have lost something deep down inside, something emotional, something almost heart-rending; is it that they have lost themselves? Read more…
  4. What is oestrogen dominance? In perimenopause both oestrogens and progesterone levels drop. Oestrogens drop by 40% to 60% and progesterone levels can drop to nearly zero. Read more…
  5. Bioidentical Hormones Frequently Asked Questions. Everything you needed to know about Bioidentical Hormones. What is Bioidentical Restorative Hormone Therapy? Also known as Bioidentical HRT or BHRT. Read more…

Don’t forget to check out the signs and symptoms of menopause.

You can find out more about Menopause Awareness Month below.

menopause-awareness-month
Menopause Awareness Month

Xenoestrogens and an increased risk of endometriosis

I can hear you asking, “And what on earth are xenoestrogens?”

I know that not everyone has heard about these environmental compounds with oestrogenic activity. Once inside the body they can mimic our own natural oestrogens. They are dangerous and disrupt the hormone environment, which in turn will interfere with the reproductive system, going on to create numerous reproductive health problems.

Are any of you having trouble conceiving? It may not be you, it could even be your partner. Excess xenoestrogens in the body can harm both ova and sperm! Something to think about!

Xenoestrogens have been seen to cause poor prostate health (in men), irregular menstrual cycles, polycystic ovary syndrome, uterine cysts, fibroids, and endometriosis.

How to avoid xenoestrogens

Believe it or not, many xenoestrogens are found in products that you use every day. The daily exposure to these oestrogen-like compounds are putting your health at risk. Although it may be impossible to eliminate all of these products from your daily life, it is always good to try. You cannot do this if you are not well informed, so here you are:

  • Parabens are everywhere, they are used as a preservative. Look for them on the ingredient list when buying face creams, body creams, sunscreens, shampoos etc. And especially, methylparaben, proplyparaben, butylparaben and ethylparaben.
  • Food dyes and preservatives, such as, butylated hydroxanisole, and FD & C #3 (a synthetic cherry-coloured dye used in cake decorating gels, candies, and popsicles.) Red dye #3 is also used as a colour additive for ingested drugs – beware – double whammy! All are bad news!
  • Chlorine and products containing chlorine – not good!
  • Polycarbonate plastic and epoxy resin such as flame retardant materials, some home furnishing, cars and electronics.
  • Weed killer and insecticides.
  • Ethinylestradiol, found in combined oral oestrogen birth control pills.
  • Cleaning detergents – many contain surfactant (one of the many different compounds that make up a detergent).
  • Building supplies – which can include, pentachlorophenol found in wood preservatives and polychlorinated biphenyls found in adhesives, lubricants, paints and electric oils.

So what have all these Xenoestrogens got to do with Endometriosis?

Endometriosis is a medical condition that is found in the female reproductive system. What happens is tissue grows outside of the uterus rather than within it. Of course, this overgrowth can happen in several other places as well, including the vagina, bladder, fallopian tubes, ovaries, and the side of the pelvic wall – all cause discomfort. With endometriosis the tissue outside the uterus is affected by the hormonal changes of menstruation just as the uterine lining is affected by hormonal changes. You may then experience excess bleeding and cramping, along with fatigue, bloating, painful intercourse, and pain in the pelvic area.

The thing is when xenoestrogens enter the body by way of drinking out of plastic bottles (plastic is a no, no in my household – a definite NO! banned, vietato!), by applying sunscreen, or being exposed to any of the above mentioned, they can cause endometrial symptoms simply because xenoestrogens over-stimulate the cells which then go on to cause excess tissue growth. The name for an excess of oestrogens is commonly known as oestrogen dominance. Having an excess or dominance of any oestrogens can cause the development of endometriosis. For the majority of women diagnosed with endometriosis, it is the first indication that they have a hormonal imbalance.

If you are suffering from or recognise any of the aforementioned endometrial symptoms, it is important that you consult with a restorative hormone specialist so you can get to the root cause. Your restorative specialist can then determine the best and most appropriate treatment helping you to avoid any other further and/or more serious problems, and get you back on track to start feeling better!

To your health!

What is the difference between ‘Biological vs Chronological Aging?

Why does Elle Macpherson (age 50) look more like 30 and Helen Mirren (70) look like she is 50?

What is the difference between ‘Biological vs Chronological Aging?

Sergey Dzugan, MD, PhD, a former heart surgeon, professor, published cancer research scientist and world leader in Restorative Medicine is asked what is the difference between ‘Biological vs Chronological Aging?

Obviously genes, environment and lifestyle are very important to your health but “restoring the most powerful agents, hormones is what really matters. As Dr Dzugan explains, it is the hormones who are really in charge.” Watch Dr Dzugan explain why not everything should be treated by drugs, we need to help the body. Want to know more? Watch the video and read my book, The Menopause Cure; Hormonal Health, written with Sergey Dzugan, MD, PhD.

Transcript

For the readers, what is the difference between chronological and biological age?

A simple way to explain it. Chronological age is how many years you have spent on this earth. Biological age is a complex set of signs that show (in how you look) what is going on with your body, your physiology, environment and biochemistry. So – many people who say “I am 55” (but they look like 75). And the opposite, some people who are 75 who look like 55.

What are the major contributing factors that would cause a person to have a biological age older than their chronological age?

They are several factors. Environment plays a big role, what you eat, diet and exercise. But, the problem is, we can stand on our head, drink carrot juice and do a lot of exercise and use any kind of diet. But unfortunately, until you restore hormones you will get decline. Hormones play a crucial role in keeping you metabolism in good shape. As soon as you lose balance between building hormones and destructive hormones you will start to have problems.

The hormone balance (or lack of) is the primary reason a person would have an older biological age?

You can do excessive exercise, have a healthy lifestyle and be a pure vegetarian but nothing will work or help until you restore youthful levels of the most powerful agents, hormones. They are in charge, they communicate with each single cell.

Disease then is a consequence of an imbalance of hormones… which is a major factor in biological aging?

Yes, that is correct. If you take the main causes of death in the United States, first two place belong to heart disease and cancer. This problem usually happens after age 40. More than 95% of people with Cancer or Heart Disease are over the age of 40, the age in which our hormones take a sharp decline. Talking about homeostasis, our body trys to fix immediately if we have any imbalances anywhere, but when you do not have enough of these building forces (hormones) you start to decline.  Hormone levels are the main cause of the body’s deterioration. Your metabolism is really slow, your absorption is really slow. That is why we talk about physiology of medicine because not everything should be treated by drugs. We need to respect what our body does.

3 things to you need to know about bone health

We all know that as we age our bones become weak and fragile and can progressively move towards osteoporosis. Here are restorative medicine’s top 3 tips to keep your bones strong and healthy, and osteoporosis away:

1. Keep your hormones levels balanced and at optimal levels

As we age hormones declines which go on to totally disrupt the hormonal environment. There are various hormones involved in bone health including the major sex hormones oestrogens, progesterone, testosterone and DHEA, as well as parathyroid hormone, and vitamin D. In menopause both oestrogen(s) and progesterone levels drop quite drastically, this is the beginning of ‘bone breakdown’. Oestrogen(s) and progesterone work as a team in our body, and along with their many tasks, support bone health.

If we keep our hormone environment healthy we will keep our bones healthy, along with the rest of the body. Restore your hormones, restore your body, with bioidentical hormone restorative therapy. In my latest book The Menopause Cure: Hormonal Health, you will find out so much more on how to protect your bones… your brain and your body!

2. Make sure your blood levels of vitamin D are optimal

The second tip is make sure your blood levels of vitamin D are optimal so calcium can be absorbed. Almost everyone is deficient in vitamin D, even those living in warmer climates. Soak up some sun, but not too much, don’t abuse it! Eat a diet rich in calcium to supply the body with its daily needs thus avoiding the necessity to raid the bone storage vaults, which would then leave the bones deficient in calcium – our bones are a reservoir that store minerals and calcium that may be needed by other parts of the body!

Many women are advised to take calcium supplements which are really not necessary but if you do supplement with calcium, always, always remember to take magnesium as well. Magnesium is a natural calcium channel blocker and has the ability to block the channels by which calcium enters the cells; when magnesium is low, intracellular calcium rises. You do not want calcium entering the cells of your heart. Calcium plays a big role in the build up of plaque, arrhythmia, blood pressure elevation, and even constipation.

3. Regular weight bearing exercise

The third tip is do regular weight-bearing exercise; it is crucial to bone health. Weight-bearing exercise helps to keep both the muscle and bone healthy and strong. If you start weight-bearing exercise before the menopause your bones will take longer to thin out and weaken. Run, walk, move it and grove it, dance and chance it. If you don’t move it you will lose it! Start today!

Get some sun but do not abuse it!

Who is afraid of the big bad wolf?

Who is afraid of the big bad wolf? Not me! The sun is the thing that dreams are made of, paradise beach and palm trees. The sun is the thing that vitamin D3 is made from. So why be so afraid of it? Perhaps we don’t understand it. When sunlight hits the skin, it converts a substance in the skin into vitamin D3, through a series of actions. We also get a small amount of vitamin D3 from food but this alone is not sufficient to give us our daily needs, so the next best option is the sun, which is as natural as food, or then there is supplementation.

Why we need vitamin D3

Believe it or not, nearly everyone is deficient in vitamin D3, even those living in warmer climates. Insufficient vitamin D3 has been linked to just about every age-related disorder there is, including cancer, vascular disease, osteoporosis, and chronic inflammation. Adults, along with children, with higher vitamin D3 levels get less colds and flu, and other viral infections. Women with insufficient vitamin D3 levels could have a 253 percent increased risk of colon cancer and postmenopausal women a 223 percent increased risk of breast cancer. Myriad of studies show that higher levels of vitamin D3 reduce breast cancer incidence. Soak up some vitamin D3!

Bring on the sunshine

As an added bonus, the warmth of the sun on our skin makes us feel less inhibited, more lighthearted and that healthy glow makes you feel more attractive, contrary to what your dermatologist may tell you, “You are setting yourself up for cancer, wrinkles and sun damage,” says he. “Not necessarily,” say I. Sun exposure prompts our sexual desire because it stimulates two major glands, the pituitary and hypothalamus that play a role in this emotional reaction. Vitamin D3 is an anabolic nutrient and helps raise our testosterone and human growth hormones levels. Roll on that sun!

Safe and sensible sun exposure

It is only obvious that we want to breathe fresh air and feel the warmth of the sunlight on our face and body. The problems starts when we go overboard on the latter. What you want is a healthy and safe sun exposure, which is, a once-a-day soak up of 40 minutes (that would be 20 mins per side), without sunscreen. The best times are between 9.00am and 11.00am or after 2.00pm. Long hours in the sun are not necessary.

We need sufficient levels of vitamin D3 to be healthy and to protect our health for the future; sunlight is nature’s way of providing us with it. And it’s ‘free’! Get some sun but do not abuse it!

To your health.

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