Literatus: Two towers

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Tuesday, February 25, 2014


THE fourth most common form of cancer occurring around the world is colorectal cancer (CRC). It is more prevalent in North America, Argentina, Australia, New Zealand and parts of Europe, Japan and Israel.

The great tower of cancer-producing diets has been termed by researchers as “Western Diet,” consisting primarily of diets of high protein, high carbohydrate and high fat.

Three researchers from the Universiti Kebangsaan Malaysia Medical Centre (Kuala Lumpur)—Afzaninawati Suria Yusof, Zaleha Md Isa, and Shamsul Azhar Shah—consistently found such food groups in similar diets in Sweden, France, the United States, and Singapore. It had been associated in many studies to risk of CRC.

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In these studies, high protein diet commonly consists of processed and unprocessed red meats and eggs. High carbohydrates include soda and sweets, refined food grains (e.g. bread) and potatoes, pizzas and pies, sandwiches, cakes and cereal products. High fats consist primarily of high-fat dairy products such as cheese, butter, and margarine.

Ironically, this kind of high apparently is not good to the health. That may explain why economist John Kenneth Galbraith wrote in his book, The Affluent Society: “More die in the United States of too much food than of too little.” In this context, poverty may not be that bad after all.

A large part of the reason why this diet supports cancer-generation is how its chemical contents behave when cooked in high temperature. This diet’s delightful taste comes from its getting cooked with high temperature, often with use of cooking oils (e.g. frying). The Kesse study in 2006, for example, noted the cancer-causing actions of the byproducts of red meats cooked under high temperature. These byproducts include “fat, iron, heme iron, N-nitroso compounds, heterocyclic amines and polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons.”

The good news was that the trio observed also another tower diet, which they called “prudent” diet. It consists of fruits, vegetables, whole grain, fish and poultry. The studies pointed out its action against the development of CRC. Its nutritional concentration apparently had been very high. It is rich in fiber, antioxidant vitamins, folic acid, carotenoids, and other phytochemical compounds.

Well, you will know it is time to diet when you push away from the table and the table instead moves away from you.

(zim_breakthroughs@yahoo.com/http://breakthroughs.today.blogspot.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on February 26, 2014.

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