Friday, January 25, 2013

Coffee and Cholesterol. Sugar v Honey. Truth of the McRib. Superstars Endorse Bad Choices. Russian Nukes.


For “Foodie Friday”:

Question:  Does Coffee Raise Cholesterol?

“I have used a French press coffeepot for years, but I recently heard unfiltered coffee could raise LDL cholesterol levels. Is French press coffee okay in moderation, or should it be avoided outright?”

Answer:  “Some research has linked drinking unfiltered coffee to an increase in LDL ("bad") cholesterol levels. For the record, unfiltered coffee is a brew in which coffee grounds come into prolonged contact with hot water, as is the case with a French press (also called a cafetière or plunger pot), as well as with Turkish or Greek coffee, espresso (and cappuccino which is made with espresso), and Scandinavian boiled coffee. The compounds in coffee associated with increased cholesterol levels are diterpines, specifically one called cafestol, which is present whether or not the coffee is decaffeinated.

I discussed your question with my colleague Tieraona Low Dog, M.D., director of the Fellowship at the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine. She notes that a review of 12 studies found a link between coffee consumption and increased levels of total cholesterol, LDL cholesterol and triglycerides. Dr. Low Dog tells me that the authors of the review wrote that patients with high cholesterol seem to be more sensitive to the cholesterol boosting properties of coffee.

American-style filtered coffee, in which hot water passes quickly through ground coffee in a paper filter, is the brewing method that gives you the least amount of cafestol, since most of this substance is left in the filter. Instant coffee also provides relatively little cafestol, but true coffee lovers aren't likely to be satisfied with that option. Dr. Log Dog's view is that even if you're concerned about your cholesterol levels, you don't have to completely forego coffee, but she does suggest saving the French press for special occasions and making an effort to cut back on consumption in general.”      More at:


Why You Should Ditch Sugar In Favor of Honey

Why Honey Is Far Better Than Sugar

“While honey and sugar share similar degrees of sweetness, the differences in the way our bodies respond to them are profound.

Technically, honey and sugar (sucrose) both exist because they are food for their respective species.

In the case of sugarcane, a member of the the grass family (Poaceae) which includes wheat, maize and rice, sucrose provides energy for its leaves and is an easily transportable source of energy for other parts of the plant, such as the root, that do not produce their own energy.

Honey, of course, is produced by bees from the nectar of flowers solely for the purpose of food.

Beyond this obvious similarity, the differences between honey and sugar, however, are much more profound.

First, honey is a whole food and sucrose is not.  In other words, sucrose is an isolate – technically only one chemical compound – lifted from a background of hundreds of other components within the whole plant, whereas honey is composed of an equally complex array of compounds, many of which are well-known (including macronutrients and micronutrients, enzymes, probiotics and prebiotics, etc.), others whose role is still completely a mystery.

Interestingly, if you were to isolate out the fructose from honey, and consume it in isolation in American-size doses (over two ounces a day), it would likely contribute to over 70 fructose-induced adverse health effects; primarily insulin resistance, fatty liver, obesity, hypertension and elevated blood sugar. But place that fructose back into the complex nestled background of nutrient chemistries we call honey, and the fructose loses its monochemical malignancy to our health. Food is the ultimate delivery system for nutrition. Reduce whole foods to parts, and then concentrate and consume them excessively, and you have the recipe for a health disaster that we can see all around us today in the simultaneously overnourished/malnourished masses who still think a 'calorie is a calorie,' and a 'carb is a carb,' without realizing that the qualitative differences are so profound that one literally heals, while the other literally kills.”

bee honey gatherers

8000 year old cave painting from the Araña Caves in Spain.

“Honey was the primary concentrated sweetener consumed by humans until after the 1800's when industrial production of sugarcane-derived sugar was initiated.  While the first written reference to honey is found on a 4,000 year old Sumerian tablet,[ii] and depictions of humans seeking honey have been found in cave paintings at in Spain that are at least 8,000 years old, we can assume that our love affair with the sweet stuff graciously provided by the bee goes back much further, perhaps hundreds of thousands, if not millions of years ago.”  More at:


The Unsavory Truth of the McRib and Other Fake Foods, and Why Russia Banned US-Raised Meat

“Sneaky “tricks of the trade” employed by the meat industry include “pink slime” made of otherwise unusable scraps, meat glue, and reconstituted meat—all of which fool you into thinking you’re buying something of higher quality than you are


McDonald’s seasonally-available McRib sandwich contains more than 70 ingredients, including a chemical used in gym shoes and other items requiring a rubbery substance. And the pork is actually a restructured meat product made from the less expensive innards and scraps from the pig

Russia has recently banned U.S. meat supplies after discovering it contains ractopamine—a beta agonist drug that increases protein synthesis, thereby making the animal more muscular. This reduces the fat content of the meat. Ractopamine is known to affect the human cardiovascular system, may cause food poisoning, and is thought to be responsible for hyperactivity, muscle breakdown, and increased death and disability in livestock

As much as 20 percent of ractopamine remains in the meat you buy from the supermarket. Despite potential health risks, the drug is used in 45 percent of U.S. pigs, 30 percent of ration-fed cattle, and an unknown percentage of turkeys.”    Complete article and video at:


McDonald’s McRib Sandwich a Franken Creation of GMOs, Toxic Ingredients, Banned Ingredients

“‘Restructured Meat’ from Pig Heart, Tongue, Stomach
McDonald’s McRib is famous in some circles for utilizing what’s known as ‘restructured meat’ technology.  Since McDonald’s knows you’d never eat a pig heart, tongue, or stomach on your plate, they decided instead to grind up these ingredients and put them into the form of a typical rib. That way, consumers won’t know what they’re putting into their mouths. As the Chicago Mag reported, the innovator of this technology back in 1995 said it best:

“Most people would be extremely unhappy if they were served heart or tongue on a plate… but flaked into a restructured product it loses its identity.Such products as tripe, heart, and scalded stomachs…”
So in other words, it’s not actually a rib. Instead, it’s a combination of unwanted animal scraps processed down in major facilities and ‘restructured’ into the form of a rib. Then, 70 additives, chemicals, fillers, and GMO ingredients later, you have a ‘meat’ product that tastes like ribs.
For a visual representation with a full list, here’s an image summarizing what it calls the ‘McDiabetes McRib’ — complete with GMO indicators:”

Photobucket Pictures, Images and Photos

More at:


When Superstars Endorse Bad Lifestyle Choices


“Beyonce recently signed a $50 million deal with Pepsi as its global brand ambassador. The Center for Science in the Public Interest and many of her fans are now urging the singer to reconsider her collaboration with Pepsi, citing the many well-known health dangers of drinking soda

Another far more bizarre example of celebrities endorsing unhealthy lifestyle choices is that of the Olsen twins, who recently released a highly exclusive, limited edition collection of handbags decorated with prescription pills

Young children's diets consisting of junk foods high in sugar, salt and unhealthy fats, has a lasting impact on their taste preferences. Also, as a powerful testament to the power of marketing, all children tested—including those as young as 3—were able to recognize popular junk food and fast food brands.”   Complete article at:


On This Day:

Near launching of Russian nukes, Jan 25, 1995:

“Russia's early-warning defense radar detects an unexpected missile launch near Norway, and Russian military command estimates the missile to be only minutes from impact on Moscow. Moments later, Russian President Boris Yeltsin, his defense minister, and his chief of staff were informed of the missile launch. The nuclear command systems switched to combat mode, and the nuclear suitcases carried by Yeltsin and his top commander were activated for the first time in the history of the Soviet-made weapons system. Five minutes after the launch detection, Russian command determined that the missile's impact point would be outside Russia's borders. Three more minutes passed, and Yeltsin was informed that the launching was likely not part of a surprise nuclear strike by Western nuclear submarines.

These conclusions came minutes before Yeltsin and his commanders should have ordered a nuclear response based on standard launch on warning protocols. Later, it was revealed that the missile, launched from Spitzbergen, Norway, was actually carrying instruments for scientific measurements. Nine days before, Norway had notified 35 countries, including Russia, of the exact details of the planned launch. The Russian Defense Ministry had received Norway's announcement but had neglected to inform the on-duty personnel at the early-warning center of the imminent launch. The event raised serious concerns about the quality of the former Soviet Union's nuclear systems.”



Patio-door-to-screen-porchThe appraiser had devalued my house by $5,000 because he said I do not have a heater that is “permanently affixed”.   When it comes to selling it, it should conform to FHA standards, which it does, except for that.

Window or Thru-Wall air conditioners with heat pumps and heat strips are not considered ‘permanent’.  I spent most of the day trying to find out the local jurisdiction rules for this situation, but came to no real conclusion.  imagesCABXG3AS

The motel-type heat/air are all 42” wide, and I don’t have 42” on the front wall of my living room, unless I take out the patio door and put a regular door in there.  Then it would get in the way of the plant sink on the porch.

My electric log fireplace doesn't count either.

I might have to install one of these: 

I’ll see what else I can find out today.


Rod and Loyce Ivers said...

So does spending $5K just to make the value $5K more seem like a good trade off? Now spending $1500 to make it worth $5K more, that makes sense..

Dizzy-Dick said...

A piece of real estate is only worth what a buyer is willing to pay.

LakeConroePenny,TX said...

Thank you for your comments, Rod and DD.

Rod: No, I wouldn't spend that much, it would be Chinese bookkeeping.
But it might be more desirable for a buyer, especially if they were getting an FHA loan.

DD: Yes, just like anything else.

Happy Tails and Trails, Penny.