My food rules for longevity

Discussion in 'Odds & Ends' started by superstition, Aug 27, 2008.

  1. superstition

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    1. No artificial sugar substitutes, especially those newest to market like sucralose. Mainstream media have reported about aspartame breaking down into formaldehyde when moderately warm, so I don't trust it, either. There is a lot of misinformation about these on the Internet, but the official sources in the USA have somewhat shaky credibility in this area, too. Our government has a history of allowing more questionable or even toxic chemicals into our food than Europe, for instance.

    2. No added sugar. This includes honey, molasses, rice syrup, corn syrup, et cetera.

    3. The only starches you eat should be steamed. Boiling causes water soluble vitamins to leech away into the water. If you boil, you must eat the water (soup stock, or something). Acrylamide forms at 120 degrees, so you must cook starch-containing foods at a lower temperature. Starch products that have the options of microwave and oven cooking should be microwaved, to avoid making additional acrylamide. Fried starches are the worst. The worst offenders in stores tend to be certain breakfast cereals, practically all crackers (including Graham), and cookies. If it's crispy and dry, chances are it's high in acrylamide.

    4. No added salt.

    5. Low mercury fish only. No snapper, tuna, swordfish, tilefish, et cetera. Mercury intake can manifest itself in breast milk years after consumption, so women should be particularly vigilant about mercury in fish.

    6. Lots of vegetables. As many as you can eat in a day. But, many of them should be softened by steaming to avoid stomach cancer.

    7. No fruit juice unless you make it yourself and eat the skins. (Bananas, mangoes, and other fruits with inedible skins are an exception.) Stick with the whole fruit because the skin has fiber and nutrients.

    8. Organic berries. Avoid produce with high levels of pesticide residue.

    9. As little saturated fat as possible. Skim milk over any other kind, for instance.

    10. Lots of calcium over the course of the day. Enough vitamin D and magnesium, too.

    11. 15-25 minutes (but no more) of sun exposure per day without sunscreen. The duration depends upon the strength of the sunlight and the pigmentation of your skin. Your body will produce vitamin D from this.

    12. Exercise often. Use long durations at low-moderate intensity for weight loss.

    13. Consume as few calories as you can while still meeting your body's nutritional needs. The more calories you burn, the sooner you die.

    14. Whole grains only. No white rice or white flour. Barley and oats are especially good choices.

    15. No food coloring, unless it comes from the skin of a fruit (like blueberries).

    16. No artificial chemical preservatives. Stick with citric acid, vitamin E, and other completely safe preservatives. Nitrates/nitrites are especially bad.

    17. Buy organic eggs and chicken to avoid the arsenic added to chicken feed. Turkey does not have arsenic-containing feed.

    18. Use most egg yolks to make bird feeding cakes or tempera paints. Consume the whites of hard boiled or steamed eggs.

    19. Avoid animal fat. Take the skin off chicken and turkey and eat the white meat. Some fatty fishes are very healthy, so animal fat here does not refer to most fish.

    20. Make sure children get enough iodine. It has recently been found to be related to neurological development. Kelp (from non-polluted water) is a good source of it.

    21. If you consume sugar alcohols, be prepared to use the bathroom a lot and stink up rooms.

    22. No Olestra. Olestra leeches away carotenoids and is a laxative.

    23. Eat soluble fiber in addition to insoluble. Soluble fiber reduces bad cholesterol.

    24. No artificial trans fats. (Small amounts of natural trans fats occur in some foods.) Be careful about deceptive product labeling. If the main fat ingredient in the product is "partially hydrogenated", then it's trans fat even if the label lists the trans fat content as zero.

    25. Drink tea instead of coffee. Coffee has high levels of acrylamide because it's roasted.

    26. There is concern about farm-raised fish. Some say they have a higher content of unhealthy fats and PCBs. Farm-raised fish (including shrimp) are questionable. I suggest doing research into this.

    27. Men should probably eat very little soy. Soy's estrogen-like isoflavones can depress the male immune system by interfering with testosterone. However, men in Japan with long lifespans may eat a considerable amount of soy, so this area is questionable. One study of Japanese men living in Hawaii found that the men with high soy intake had brains that measured 5 years older (aged, not intelligence/maturity) than men without soy intake. Some vegetables, like asparagus, may be high in isoflavones, too. I haven't looked into that much yet.

    28. Mushrooms may contain a somewhat toxic chemical. I would look into this more.

    29. Be aware of oxalic acid and phytates in some vegetable/grain/seed foods. They bind with calcium and other minerals and can be related to osteoporosis. Cooking and fermentation may destroy these in some foods. http://www.healthmyself.com/senior/05011439.htm

    30. Peanuts may be dangerous due to aflatoxin and other factors. http://www.rwood.com/Articles/Peanuts.htm http://www.bio.net/bionet/mm/toxicol/1997-April/001166.html

    31. Soda containing vitamin C is toxic. It's probably been recalled, but check the label just in case. Orange soda is the usual culprit. Soda is one of the most useless things you can put into your body, and is filled with preservatives like sorbic acid (except very few), artificial colorants, excessive sugar or sugar substitutes, et cetera. It would be better to make your own soda with fruit juice and carbonated water, but be sure to eat the skins of the fruit, too.

    32. If something like bread is moldy, removing only the visible mold is not enough. The mold has likely traveled throughout the product. Throw it away.

    33. If you drop something on the floor, the 5 second rule doesn't work. Mythbusters recently found that such foods pick up a lot of bacteria. So, you may be able to rinse and cook the food, but don't just eat it.

    34. Be certain to cook meat and eggs thoroughly, but don't grill or burn meat.

    35. Avoid cross contamination when preparing food. Avoid recontamination as well (such as by using a turner you had raw meat touch to serve cooked meat).

    36. Wash produce thoroughly.

    37. Some vegetables, like spinach, are healthier when cooked. Others, like broccoli, are best raw. Learn which ones are better cooked and vice-versa.

    38. Vary your diet. Don't eat the same foods for every meal.

    39. You may need vitamin or mineral supplements even with a good diet, especially if you are a woman who has an active sex life and of child-bearing age. The most critical time nutritionally for a baby is the first 8 weeks. No megadoses or exotic products. No "natural" or oyster calcium. Only use US Pharmacopia supplements. Research them thoroughly before use. Check with a licensed nutritionist, ideally. Amino acid supplements are probably not a good idea. Just eat some cooked egg white or drink skimmed milk. You'll get all the amino acids you need. Supplements are not regulated by our inept FDA, so they may contain toxic impurities, incorrect dosages, et cetera. There is concern over formaldehyde production in the body from creatine supplements, as well as possible impurities. As far as I know, the more creatine you ingest, the more formaldehyde is produced. So, you may want to look carefully before using creatine heavily.

    40. High protein diets that induce ketosis are very bad for a person's health, according to the Ph.D instructor I had for a nutrition course. She said diets high in whole grains are better for weight loss, and I've recently read an article that said a breakfast high in carbohydrates leads to greater weight loss than other types of diet, according to a new study. Eating a nutritious/balanced breakfast is very important, as is not eating before going to bed.

    41. True nuts (not peanuts) have been correlated with longevity. So, despite their high caloric density, nuts that are free of mold are probably a good thing to eat regularly. Almonds are particularly high in nutrients. Be careful about eating too many Brazil nuts at once. You could get too much selenium. One Brazil nut every two or three days, though, is a good thing.

    42. Eating citrus peels may reduce risk of squamous cell anemia (a skin cancer). The peels have antioxidant and possibly anti bad cholesterol properties, too. But, d-limonene in citrus peels may be toxic if ingested in amounts that are too high.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
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  2. Swissv2

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    I can challenge most of these rules with the diet of Japanese centurians.
     
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  3. Nuke

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    Hey, S, how about you give us a sample diet for one day, using all your suggestions? I'd like to see what's left after you take away all the bad things. Not being snarky here -- I'm really curious how a person would follow these rules.
     
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  4. hollywood9826

    hollywood9826 Semi-Pro

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    Got to about #10 and picked up the theme. Eat natural stuff, not man made. Just too long of a post fro a regular person who is not overly concerned
     
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  5. Steady Eddy

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    "My food rules for longevity"? How old are you? It sounds like a list prepared by somone over one hundred. If you're in your 30s, you can make it to 30 eating almost anything. If you expect to live a long time because of this, we don't know yet if you are or not. Why should your opinions be better than anyone else's if you're still relatively young?
     
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  6. superstition

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    Attack me all you like. That list is what I've learned from my university nutrition course and outside reading.

    If you have issues with the list, do your own research.

    Not really. Fugu is natural, and so are peanuts. Yet, people can drop dead from both. Oyster calcium supplements often have lead levels many times higher than the FDA limit.
     
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  7. LuckyR

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    This list makes some logical sense but is just that: logic unencumbered by data. If you want a diet that will contribute to longevity (not improved cholesterol etc) then it is a one liner: cut your calories by 40%.
     
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  8. superstition

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    Doubtful. I've read quite a bit about Japanese diets, including the diet of people living in Okinawa which can be summarized most simply as lots of vegetables, some fish. Fish consumption also apparently correlates with the longevity of Icelanders.

    I did forget to include a point about eating nuts (true nuts, peanuts don't count). Recent research has shown a strong correlation with nut eating and longevity, probably because nuts are high in calories and give a feeling of fullness without having a lot of unhealthy things in them. They also have minerals, sterols, and so forth.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
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  9. superstition

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    Simply cutting calories can lead to malnutrition. Proper diet is not simple, although there are some basic elements that aren't complex.

    I have added two more entries. 41 and 42.
     
    Last edited: Aug 27, 2008
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  10. LuckyR

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    Sure it can, but it is the only diet that is tied to longevity (not better nutrition).
     
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  11. superstition

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    Better nutrition is critical for longevity. For instance, osteoporosis due to improper diet leads to hip fractures and there is a huge correlation between hip fractures and mortality in the elderly. Proper nutrition is also related to cancer and much more.

    Women who simply cut calories run the risk of birth defects and otherwise less than optimal infants because many women don't know they're pregnant right away - during the most critical time for development.

    No, nutrition can't be simply dismissed as fringe matter when it comes to longevity. Your potential lifespan and quality of life is related to nutrition before you're born. Also, women with histories of high mercury intake give off that mercury in breast milk, even if that mercury consumption was years prior to pregnancy. So, the nutrition of the mother is a critical dietary matter.
     
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  12. Steady Eddy

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    If I gave investment tips, people might ask me how large is my portfolio. Having a track record always helps. Since these are tips for longevity, how old are you?
     
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  13. superstition

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    This is a ridiculous analogy and question. Think again. I'd be either really old or dead to make your question at all relevant. This isn't about me. This is about the facts. Either refute the facts, or recognize them. Read this, too.
     
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  14. Jonnyf

    Jonnyf Legend

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    Oh come on Superstition, That's not a "ridiculous" question. It's a perfectly valid one. People are simply asking your age since you claim to know the "rules for longevity"

    :)
     
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  15. mdrew9

    mdrew9 New User

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    Most of this post is garbage. The key to longevity is Calorie Restriction or Intermitant fasting.
     
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  16. Serpententacle

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    You'd spend more time searching for the right foods and adhering to the dietary protocol that it all evens out in the end. :)
     
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  17. superstition

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    Wrong. Calorie restriction without careful nutritional planning will lead to malnutrition.

    Also, according to my professor, fasting may lead to loss of lean muscle mass and a lowered metabolism. A lowered metabolism may lead to a longer life, but most of us prefer to keep our muscle mass.
     
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  18. superstition

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    Puffer fish.
     
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  19. superstition

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    No, it's utterly ridiculous.

    However, people should focus more on quality of life than longevity. While the argument has been made that enjoying unhealthy food leads to a higher quality of life, if you have good nutrition and stay active, you'll feel better over a longer period of time than you will if you eat unhealthy food—even if you die young. Studies on caloric restriction in animals have found that the animals on restriction had more energy than those that ate a lot, which the opposite of what "common sense" would suggest (more calories = more energy). They also aged more slowly. But, without careful nutritional planning, caloric restriction is a method of becoming malnourished.
     
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  20. xtremerunnerars

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    Did you watch that recent discovery thing on the human body? They devoted quite a bit to longevity and they gave the most credit to that society who recommends calorie restriction.

    I agree with them but I don't want to eat like that.


    They don't really need to exercise because of how they eat. Since life span has to do with number of heartbeats, they make it way farther than others.
     
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  21. koopa_troopa

    koopa_troopa Rookie

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    That a pretty generic criticism. I can say that your diet too will lead to malnutrition without careful planning.

    The other poster is right. Assuming you are meeting all the daily intake requirements, calorie restriction is the most important step for long life.
     
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  22. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    I didn't add salt to my food and that lead me to be very dizzy and fainted twice(lipothymic episode).So I definitely don't suggest this,except if you have high blood pressure,or high blood pressure history in your family.
     
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  23. superstition

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    Normally people don't have to add salt. Maybe you have a metabolic condition that requires greater sodium intake? Or maybe somehow you ended up with too much potassium in your diet.

    Long duration exercise can deplete sodium and potassium, so if you exercise an extreme amount, you may need to add salts. But, there are plenty of salty foods, like skim milk, that should normally provide adequate sodium.
     
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  24. superstition

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    That's true of any diet, but my list includes a lot of tips to help to prevent that.

    Caloric restriction is in the list, but it's not the most important thing because it can also lead to death. What happened to people in concentration camps was caloric restriction. What happens to kids in parts of Africa is due to caloric restriction. In both cases, inadequate nutrition was a major factor. A person can eat the same number of calories as their twin and one will die if the diet isn't nutritious.
     
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  25. superstition

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    Exercise is important for bone density, balance, flexibility, lean muscle mass retention, et cetera. The brain also benefits from the increased blood flow, leading to better mental performance. While heavy exercise does lead to increased caloric intake, light-moderate aerobic exercise regularly, flexibility exercise, and some load-bearing exercise is important for staying healthy. A person may be able to not exercise and barely eat but living a long time with no capacity for physical labor isn't ideal for a lot of people.
     
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  26. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    No long duration exercise.I am not aware of any metabolic condition.BUT I do have normally a slightly low blood pressure.Anyway,the doctors at the hospital told me that a little salt should be added to all foods.

    Anyway,imo longelivity is more dependent on enjoying life.And if you have so many restrictions and forbidden foods then this takes a lot of fun from life.BTW,what is in your opinion the optimal macronutritients ratio?
     
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  27. xtremerunnerars

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    We're not talking starvation here SS. We're talking 1200-1400 calories instead of 2000+.


    Pretty hard to argue with the results. I tend to lie in the middle though because building a great and strong body means eating great food.
     
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  28. superstition

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    Check out number 13 on the list. I guess you missed it.
     
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  29. Lakoste

    Lakoste Professional

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    My crazy uncle is still going strong at 65+ and he smokes a pack a day and drinks every chance he gets. I'll probably take up his lifestyle since he's not dead yet.

    :rolleyes:
     
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  30. Phil

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    Yeah, he's obviously keyed into something that the health N-az is haven't picked up on yet. Me? If I have to die (and I suppose I DO), I wanna go out Nelson Rockefeller style!
     
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  31. Nuke

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    Still waiting for a typical day's menu to see how you follow these rules, Superstition. How do you walk the walk?
     
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  32. Fedace

    Fedace Banned

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    you Forgot one very important aspects of healthy eating for keeping young and mentally sharp. You are supposed to eat about 8 servings of citrus fruits every day. ie. G****s, Strawberry, Orange, Pineapple, Peaches.
     
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  33. LuckyR

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    Like I said before, what you're saying makes logical, common sense, but is ultimately an opinion unencumbered by data on longevity (not osteoporosis, birth defects etc that is confusing this issue).
     
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  34. Squall Leonheart

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    Hard/raw vegetables can cause cancer? I kind of expected "in the state of California" to be at the end of that statement.
     
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  35. hb_hound

    hb_hound New User

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    Red meat (rare), a few veggies, bread with butter and beer daily

    It would really suck to follow all of those rules and get hit by a bus before your 40 never knowing what you missed

    "Life should NOT be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, rare steak in one hand, beer in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming "WOO HOO what a ride!"
     
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  36. superstition

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    I've read that the Japanese have the lowest colon cancer rate in the world and the highest stomach cancer rate. This appears to be due to a very high vegetable fiber consumption.
     
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  37. superman1

    superman1 Legend

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    I guess Michael Phelps is going to be dead tomorrow. R.I.P.
     
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  38. 35ft6

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    Not a bad list. But at some point, it's not just the quantity of life but quality, and even though I try to stick with a lot of these, and they make sense more or less, not sure if I'd want to live this way. Still, good list.
     
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  39. superstition

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    The thing about exercise is that it tends to make people live longer, despite the increase in burned calories. There are bigger killers that are caused by inactivity, poor diet, obesity, et cetera. Heart disease is the leading cause of death, and that is generally preventable and due to lifestyle (stress, smoking, obesity, hypertension, diet/salt, et cetera).

    However, there is a limit regarding how far someone should push themselves athletically if they want to maximize longevity. Phelps may have had the potential for a longer lifespan than he will have due to his high level of exercise. But, excessive exercise, especially aerobic exercise, is better than lack of exercise.
     
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  40. malakas

    malakas Banned

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    Genetics and lifestyle have a lot to do with cancer.Not everything is directly correlated with nutrition.

    BTW,you didn't answer me.Which do you think is the optimal for health,macronutritient ratio?
     
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  41. J011yroger

    J011yroger G.O.A.T.

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    Wait a minute. . . so you are just parroting crap that your professor said, and that you read?

    What if you had a different professor and a couple of different books?

    Would that alter what one needed to eat in order to have a longer life?

    What exactly are you trying to accomplish by posting this?

    J
     
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  42. ollinger

    ollinger Legend

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    There's no adequate evidence that vigorous exercise prolongs longevity. Many studies, including the CDC study of 13,000 men and women, found that going from couch potato to someone who merely walks briskly for about half an hour a few times a week confers a substantial gain in longevity, but the step from that level of activity to more vigorous levels is not clearly demonstrated to prolong life. I consult in 9 assisted living and nursing facilities and routinely now meet people over 100 years of age. For years I've made it a point to ask them about their diet and exercise histories. (Oatmeal just might be the fountain of youth.) What's interesting is that I almost never encounter anyone who could be said to have done anything that could be called exercise. What one finds is people who've been busy with work and family and didn't have a lot of time to just sit around idly. And of course one finds that people at that age tend to be slender.
     
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  43. kairosntx

    kairosntx Professional

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    Based on the list, I should be dead.
     
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  44. AznRamenDude

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    I rather live a short life full of experience and wonder rather than a long boring life worrying if that next carrot stick is going to kill me. :)

    Seriously, eat what you need but just lay off the fast food crap. imo, a "longer" life is the one that you enjoy more.
     
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  45. scotus

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    Any chance that people over 100 just don't have enough teeth to eat something harder?

    I wish I could eat oatmeal, but it has too much iron in it.
     
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  46. Sentinel

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    Thanks for the list, SS -- good list.

    LOL !
     
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  47. FarFed

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    Superstition, very nice list. Keep it up.
     
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  48. bee

    bee Semi-Pro

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    The Japanese have a high incidence of stomach cancer due to their high intake of smoked foods, primarily smoked fish. It is not, LOL, due to their intake of vegetables.

    Not a bad kid, really. Keep studying.
     
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  49. superstition

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    You can't tell? I guess you're not an expert and might learn something. My professor, FYI, is a big proponent of sugar substitutes (except for pregnant mothers) and didn't mention things like acrylamide and pesticide residues. As for reading, which is the other alternative - what else do you expect? I'm not a paid scientific researcher.
    Hmm....
     
    Last edited: Sep 1, 2008
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  50. superstition

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    Thanks for the kudos for those who posted thanks.

    I have another tip. Eat radish leaves. Don't throw away the leaves when buying bunches of radishes. Today I went to Kroger and bought a very nice bunch of organic radishes for $1.50 and cut off the leaves. I was about to throw them away when I thought ... hmm ... and checked the Net. Surely enough, radish leaves are edible. People talked about a bitter taste, but I steamed them for a few minutes and they tasted fine, reminding me of the watercress I've had at a Chinese restaurant only not nearly as tough to chew. There are many elaborate recipes on the Net for radish greens, but I'm lazy so I just steamed them and ate them plain.
     
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