Many people think that eating healthfully means spending a fortune at the grocery store. It’s true that fresh, organic foods cost more than their conventionally grown and processed counterparts. But with thoughtful planning, smart shopping, and a bit of creativity in the kitchen, you can enjoy a nourishing, health supportive diet and stay within a reasonable budget.
Eating healthy, delicious meals is one of our core values, and we consistently make the time and effort to ensure that we eat well. There are many ways to reduce your food budget; some of our suggestions may take research and energy to implement, but you’ll find they make a significant difference in your food expenses—and you’ll be eating better than ever.
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Few dietary topics create as much controversy as the issue of milk. Billboards, commercials, and magazine ads (featuring celebrities with milk moustaches) encourage us to drink more milk via the influential “Got Milk?” campaign, launched by the dairy industry in 1993. Even our government promotes the heavy consumption of milk—the latest federal nutritional guidelines recommend the equivalent of 3 glasses of milk daily, either fat-free or 1% fat.
Unfortunately, the recommendations for dairy are channeled to us through the perspective of the dairy industry, and are based more on marketing schemes than on scientific research. If you didn’t already know, the dairy lobby is a powerful force, and drives the government’s recommendations.
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I thoroughly enjoy mushrooms—in fact, I actually crave them. It’s likely that this craving can be traced to my Italian culinary heritage—we often add mushrooms to pizza and pasta dishes, but we find them equally delicious in soups, stir-fries, and salads. In addition to the common white button mushroom, we also search for maitake, morel, oyster, portobello, shiitake, and any other unique varieties that appear at our local farmer’s market or natural foods store.
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I’ve recently received a number of queries from patients and practitioners who are curious about a handful of studies and anecdotal reports that indicate a ketogenic diet may help to curtail cancer growth. For those not familiar with the ketogenic diet, it’s a very low carbohydrate diet that contains moderate amounts of protein and a high percentage of fats.
I prefer to think of foods in their whole, natural forms (for example, almonds, apples, asparagus, blueberries, oatmeal, olives, potatoes, rye, and salmon) instead of in reductionist terms of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins. Keeping this in mind, the primary purpose of dietary carbohydrates is for fuel—the body converts carbohydrates via the liver into glucose, which is used for everything from powering muscles to brain function. When confronted with a lack of carbohydrates, the body switches to burning fats for energy by converting fats (again via the liver) into ketone bodies.
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The recent detailed U. S. national report on cancer (released every two years) revealed that despite the billions of dollars poured into cancer research and innovative treatments, current approaches are not delivering on their promise of a cure. In fact, progress against the disease is excruciatingly slow, and much of the decline in cancer deaths in the U. S. is the result of decreases in smoking, not cutting-edge technological treatments.
After 25 years of research and working with thousands of people with cancer, I am convinced that the search for a “magic bullet” that will cure or eradicate cancer is misguided. As long as we continue to focus primarily on eradicating cancer, we are missing the bigger picture—the terrain in which cancer evolves.
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Over the past few years, soy seems to have gone from the best food one can eat to the worst. According to soy opponents, tofu causes everything from birth defects to pancreatic cancer. It’s no wonder that people are concerned and confused.
In my opinion, there is a great deal of fear-mongering as well as inaccurate (and one-sided) interpretation of studies. Hundreds of reports in leading peer-reviewed journals worldwide provide compelling research that soy helps to protect against cancer, most notably breast cancer. For example, researchers at Japan’s National Cancer Center followed the eating habits of more than 20,000 women for a decade, and found that those who consumed at least three bowls of miso soup daily reduced their risk of breast cancer by about 40 percent. Miso (a concentrated fermented soybean paste) and all soy foods (as well as many other legumes) are rich in isoflavones, natural compounds that appear to impede the growth of some tumors.
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