Healthy foods for long life

LIVE LONG AND HEALTHY
(Source: British Nutrition Foundation)

Particularly good for Important food component Great food sources
The heart Unsaturated fatty acids Vegetable oils and reduced fat spreads, nuts, seeds, avocados
Heart, brain, joints Long chain Omega 3s Oily fish
Gut & heart Insoluble fibre Wholegrain foods, nuts, seeds, vegetables, skins of some fruits including tomatoes
The heart Soluble fibre Pulses, oats, rye, barley, some fruits and vegetables, potatoes
Muscle, immune system Protein Protein Lean meat, chicken, seafood, eggs, pulses, quorn, soya products
All body systems Antioxidants, Vitamin C Tomatoes, peppers, broccoli, cabbage, citrus fruits, melon, kiwi
Prostate Lycopene Tomatoes, guava, apricots, watermelon, papaya, pink grapefruit
All body systems Beta-carotene Dark green, yellow and orange fruit and vegetables – carrot, pumpkin, spinach melon
Eyes Lutein/zeaxanthin Kiwi fruit, grapes, spinach, kale, broccoli, red and orange peppers
All body systems Vitamin E Plant oils, nuts, seeds, watermelon
Prostate, immune system Selenium Brazil nuts, bread, fish including shellfish, meat, eggs
The heart & brain Folate Leafy vegetables, fruits, beans, wholegrain products, liver, nuts, fortified breakfast cereals
Bone Vitamin K Green leafy vegetables, liver, Brussels sprouts, broccoli, asparagus, some fruits (rhubarb, kiwi)
Bones & Heart Calcium Low/reduced fat milk/dairy products, fortified soya products, bread, canned fish (with bones)
Heart Potassium Root vegetables, fruit, lentils, beans, fish, milk, yogurt, nuts
Blood Iron Liver, meat, beans, nuts, dried fruit, wholegrain foods, fortified breakfast cereals, dark green leafy vegetables
The heart & brain Alcohol in moderation Alcohol (moderate amounts)
Teeth Fluoride Drinking water, tea, fish
Blood, immune system Zinc Meat, shellfish, milk/dairy foods, bread, cereal products

Food supplements legislation news

The Coalition Government has been good news for the consumer health industry. Andrew Lansley, the Secretary of State for Health, has given the Royal London Hospital for Integrated Medicine a reprieve in the interests of patient choice. And Anne Milton, Conservative MP for Guildford, has become engaged in the controversial EU Directive on Food Supplements that threatened to wipe some supplements off the shelves, and limit others to low doses.

Sue Croft from the Consumers for Health Choice campaign spoke to the minister recently. Ms Milton claimed that she thought there should be proper understanding of the UK market and that any future proposals should be based on rigorous risk assessment and scientifically established safe levels. She advised the industry to continue to help in assembling high quality scientific evidence. 

The situation so far:

Around 300 vitamins and minerals have not been included on the list of those that can still be sold.

  • It will affect around 5,000 products which are already being reformulated, or which will be taken off health food store shelves;
  • Many well known vitamins such as Vitamin A, B5, B6, C and minerals such as manganese are due to be limited to much lower upper safety limits (see Table).

In this country the Directive became law on 1 August 2005, but a temporary period of grace was granted to the UK until 31 December 2009 during which time supplements can still be sold provided a full dossier has been submitted (and not rejected) to the relevant EU scientific advisory body, The European Food Standards Association by July.

There is still plenty of need to back the Consumers for Health Choice campaign – go to  www.consumersforhealthchoice.com and find a template for a letter for your MEP.

Also sign the Downing Street petition – click here

Consumers for Health Choice celebrity supporters:

  • Sir Paul McCartney
  • Sir Elton John
  • Sir Cliff Richard
  • Carole Caplin
  • Jenny Seagrove
  • Lady Annabel Goldsmith
  • Zoe Ball
  • Chris Barber
  • Janey Lee Grace
  • Simon le Bon
  • Dr John Briffa .
  • Neneh Cherry
  • Phil Collins
  • Zac Goldsmith
  • Robert Hardy
  • Jules Holland
  • Suzi Quatro
  • Bianca Jagger
  • Julia McKenzie
  • Holly Johnson
  • Marcus Trescothick
  • Anthea Turner
  • Rick Wakeman
  • David Wilkie MBE
  • Charlie Watts
  • Thom York
What are these supplements?
Lower doses:

VITAMIN A: is essential for the health of eyes, boosts the immune system, reducing the risk of infection. As an anti-oxidant Vitamin A fights free radicals which roam around the body damaging cells. The level of 3,000 mcg a day has been safely used in the UK for years, but is set to be halved when the Directive becomes law.

VITAMIN B3: (Niacin): helps to maintain mental stability and memory, reduces headaches and lowers cholesterol levels. Patrick Holford often gives 500mg of niacin a day to mental health patients to maintain their stability. ‘They regress on lower levels and will suffer greatly from a restriction to 17mg as the recommended Upper Safe Level.’

VITAMIN B6: the subject of controversy in recent years, the new recommendation is 10mg a day. It is taken by 3 million Britons to ease PMS, stress, menopausal symptoms, and depression and reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease.

Patrick Holford claims, ‘Many women with PMS find that 100 mg a day of Vitamin B6 eases their symptoms, without any evidence of ill effects. The concern was that it produced nerve damage when taken in large doses, but a study of 555 people who took between 30mg and 230mg was carried out by the Institute of Optimum Nutrition. There were no adverse reactions or toxicity but there were considerable health benefits.’

VITAMIN C: boosts the immune system helping us to fight infections and colds, relieves allergies, and is vital for healthy skin. Many people with serious illnesses including cancer take high levels of Vitamin C.

Patrick Holford explains that the upper safe limit of 1,000mg a day has been set due to fear of Vitamin C causing kidney stones. ‘Robust medical research has already proven that 4,000mg a day has no negative effect whatsoever on kidney stone formation.’

He also claims that fears of loose bowels on 2,000 mg of Vitamin C are unfounded, particularly as a nationwide study found that 90 per cent of people didn’t go to the toilet even once a day!

MANGANESE: helps to neutralise free radicals, manufactures fat, sex hormones and breast milk and is essential to help the body use other vitamins and minerals. Patrick Holford believes that the recommended upper safe limit of 4g is not high enough. ‘A level of 20mg would be more appropriate, because only 5 per cent of the manganese we take is absorbed and people with low levels need that much to restore it.’

Not on the approved list:

BORON: helps the body to use calcium, is important for bone strength and used in menopause formulations, but it is not on the EU approved list. Patrick Holford, claims, ‘Boron has been proven in trials to be non-toxic.’ Deficiencies can cause high blood pressure, arthritis, osteoporosis.

SULPHUR: the late James Coburn and the actor Nick Nolte swore by MSM, a supplement which contains sulphur. Coburn was virtually crippled by arthritis but after taking the supplement in his seventies he had a new wife, exercised every day and made more films!!

Sulphur is also good for skin, hair and nails, relieving stress, asthma, countering the effects of ageing and detoxifying the body. Currently it is not on the approved list and could prove difficult to get when the legislation goes through.

CHROMIUM PICOLINATE: The main role of chromium in the body is to balance blood sugar levels, and reduce sugar cravings. Deficiency signs include dizziness, irritability if hungry, tiredness, and thirst. Chromium picolinate and polynicotinate are forms which the body can most easily use but they are not on the approved list.

CALCIUM CARBONATE: essential for healthy bones and teeth, helps to prevent osteoporosis in post-menopausal women, and promotes a healthy heart and nerves. Calcium carbonate is on the EU approved list, but amino acid chelate and citrate are not. ‘These forms should be included as they are absorbed twice as well as calcium carbonate which is on the approved list,’ explains Patrick Holford.

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B Complex, enzyme activated + magnesium Biocare 30 Veg caps £5.70
Efamarine EPO, fish oil and Vitamin E Efamol 90 £8.99
Floravital Yeast Free Liquid Iron Formula Salus Haus 250ml £8.29
Magnesium Citrate tablets Solgar 120 x 200mg £14.35
Vitamin B Complex + C Veg Caps Vega 120 £17.79
Vitamin E Dry Vegi Caps Vega 30 x 400iu £6.49
High Six Vitamin B6 with B Complex Veg Caps Viridian 30 £6.25
High One Vitamin B1 with B Complex Veg Caps Viridian 30 £6.40
High Three Vitamin B3 with B Complex Veg Caps Viridian 30 £6.25
True Food Selenium Veg Tablets Higher Nature 60 x 200ug £6.90
Beetroot Extract veg capsules, natural source of iron & trace minerals Biocare 90 £10.30
Zinc C Formula V-Caps Vega 30 £7.49
Calcium Magnesium Zinc Tablets Solgar 250 £11.99
Magnesium Citrate tablets Solgar 250 £11.69
Bio-Manganese Veg Caps Biocare 30 x 200ug 10mg £10.05
Boron tablets Quest 60 x 3mg £3.95
MSM Sulphur tablets Higher Nature 180 £14.50
Lipcare Vegetarian Essential Fatty Acid capsules Biocare 60 £16.95
Eskimo-3 Omega 3 capsules Cardinova 105 £13.60
Vitamin A capsules Health Aid 100 x 5000iu £5.99
Folguard (Folic Acid & Vitamin B12) Veg Caps Biocare 30 £3.75
Vitamin B12 250P Time Release Tablets Biocare 30 £8.75
High Twelve Vitamin B12 with B Complex Veg Caps Viridian 90 £12.75
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin) Veg Caps Biocare 30 £3.95
Vitamin D Softgels Solgar 100 X 400IU £4.89
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Trans fats – what are they?

The good news about trans fats is that the big supermarkets have announced that they are banning them from own label foods.
 
For once the hype is true – trans fats are bad news because:
 
• They cause an increase in harmful cholesterol levels which can clog up arteries and lead to heart disease
• They are of no nutritional use to the body but worse still they block the body’s ability to use                                                              healthy polyunsaturated oils

Most consumers know that saturated fats are not good for them because they raise cholesterol levels but had no knowledge of trans or hydrogenated fats.

Types of fat:

There is much confusion around fats– some of which are healthy.

• Saturated fats contribute to higher cholesterol levels, furring up of arteries and weight gain – butter, hard cheese, cream, full cream milk, fatty meat products such as sausages.
• Monounsaturated oils – Olive oil, avocadoes and some nuts and seeds are high in monounsaturated oils – these aren’t harmful fats but should not be eaten in excess as they will pile on weight.
• Trans-fats – hydrogenated fats in margarine and processed foods like pies. Block the body’s ability to use polyunsaturated fats and should be avoided – check ingredients.
• Polyunsaturated fats – the Omega 3s and 6s – are essential fatty acids particularly required for healthy brain development and function. Omega 3s are prevalent in sunflower, pumpkin, sesame seeds and oil, linseed, nuts, oily fish such as mackerel, herring, tuna, salmon and sardines while safflower, corn., soybean and sunflower oils are rich in Omega 6s.

Why do food manufacturers use trans fats?

Trans fats are made when vegetable oils are heated to high temperatures, making them solid fats. This makes make them easier to use in manufacturing food – the process is called hydrogenation as hydrogen is added to liquid unsaturated oil to make it a solid saturated fat. This process was widely used from the 1950s onwards when margarine became an alternative to butter – considered to be unhealthy because of its saturated fats!

Apart from being easier to use in food manufacture it is a matter of cost – hydrogenated or trans fats are cheaper, and they give foods a longer shelf life. All of these factors make them popular with the company accountants and the public’s health is not considered at all.

Good news – retailers ban them

Asda, Sainsbury’s and Tesco have all announced that they are banning trans fats from their own label branded foods. Waitrose has already banned them from their chilled ready meals and M & S stopped selling foods with them earlier this year. The bans by the other supermarkets won’t come into force until the end of the year.

This is great news, but always be aware that this only applies to ‘own label’ brands and not those sold in the supermarkets by other manufacturers. The same was true of genetically modified ingredients and Aspartame when some retailers banned those.

What are they in?

The latest study found them in many products that are popular with children such as Cadbury Double Decker, Kelloggs’ Chocolate Caramel Rice Crispies Squares, Morrisons’ Caramel Bars, Sainsbury’s Polar Biscuits, and Cadbury Brunch Bars.

They’re in all kinds of food products including chocolate cakes, ready made meals, ice cream, pies, gravy mixes and much more. According to the Daily Express, July 8th edition, Kelloggs and Cadbury whose products were named in recent research have claimed that they are taking trans fats out of their foods. The article claimed, ‘Kraft removed trans fats from some of its cookies after a US campaign body filed a law suit.’

The Scotsman also ran an article recently citing the trans fats in a range of foods:

FAST FOOD

10 chicken nuggets – total fat 20g: saturated fat 2g, trans fat 2.5g
Large McDonald’s fries, total fat 22.5g: saturated fat 3.5g, trans fat 6g
Big Mac burger, total fat 22.8g: saturated fat 9.8g, trans fat 1.5g
KFC chicken strips and regular fries, total fat 28.9g: saturated fat 3.9g, trans fat 4.4g

SNACKS

Bag of crisps (42g), total fat 11g: saturated fat 2g, trans fat 3.2g
Custard cream filled biscuits (30g), total fat 6g, saturated fat 1g, trans fat 2g

What to look for

Being aware is half the battle for consumers. Some products have ‘Free from Trans Fats’ on the label which allows people to make a choice. Others may mention hydrogenated oil or fats in the ingredients list rather than trans fats so those products can be avoided. The best bet for consumers is that food companies will be driven by customer demand and will take them out of products because they are not essential ingredients.

When cooking at home it is better to avoid cooking with any kind of margarines or butter substitutes unless they claim that they are free from trans fats. However, according to Patrick Holford’s New Optimum Nutrition Bible, cooking with normal vegetable oils generates free radicals, the substances that attack healthy cells in the body. It is preferable to cook with either:

• Coconut oil
• or Cold Pressed Extra Virgin Olive Oil

What is the government doing?

Denmark introduced laws controlling the sale of foods containing trans fats in 2003, and Canada banned their use in foods in 2004. Early in 2006 the United States brought in legislation to oblige food manufacturers to list their inclusion in food labelling.

The UK government in the shape of the Food Standards Agency has run two campaigns to raise awareness of the health issues related to trans fats and they have made suggestions to food manufacturers to remove trans fats from products, but they seem reluctant to bring in legislation. The FSA recommends the daily intake of trans fats should not exceed 5g, but many consumers are totally unaware of the range of popular foods that contain the damaging synthetic fats.

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Coconut oil Pukka Herbs 100ml £7.95
Coconut oil Higher Nature 400g £10.90
The Optimum Nutrition Bible Patrick Holford Piatkus £12.95
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Patrick Holford’s New Optimum Nutrition Bible is available through the Amazon – click on the ad on thi

Cider vinegar

It could be described as a panacea for all ills as cider vinegar can help you lose weight, treat and prevent arthritis and calm your digestive system.

Cider vinegar is an age-old remedy that really works for a variety of health problems. It is particularly recognised for soothing arthritis by changing the acid environment of the body. Like many acidic foods (such as citrus fruits) cider vinegar is alkaline in the body. Arthritis thrives in an acidic body, although citrus fruits are not good for arthritis.

It’s also good for the digestion, improving irritable bowel and constipation, can help to soothe bladder infections, headaches, migraine, and sore throats,and keep blood pressure at a healthy level. Because it’s not a medicine it is worth trying it to see if it works, but if problems are long-standing it won’t miraculously go away in a few days. So persist with the cider vinegar before meals for over four weeks before deciding it doesn’t work.

Cider vinegar is cheap (around £3 a bottle for organic), easy to take and available in the supermarket.

Margaret Hills was an expert on cider vinegar. When she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a very young age, and later on with osteoarthritis, she found that taking cider vinegar changed her life and made arthritis-free.

She opened the Margaret Hills Clinic, now run in Warwickshire by her daughter, Christine Horner, and she wrote several books about it. People can have face to face or telephone consultations for £65.

‘It is good for anything and I never go on holiday without my cider vinegar decanted into a plastic bottle. It helps to prevent upset stomachs on holiday, eases sore throats, and can be put directly onto sunburn or stings.’

Cider vinegar contains powerful enzymes that help digestion and the following minerals: potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, organic sodium, copper, iron, sulphur, cholorine, fluorine, silicon and other trace minerals, as well as malic acid which can fight body toxins. constipation, irritable bowel and indigestion), preventing and easing arthritis, bladder infections, headaches and migraines, sore throats, lowering blood pressure and keeping you slim.

Christine recommends that patients take a dessertspoonful of cider vinegar in a third to half a pint of water before meals three times a day, preferably mixed with honey. ‘The honey has plenty of health benefits too and it makes it more palatable. Never take it neat because it will upset your stomach.’ She also warns people who are on Warfarin to avoid any radical change of diet such as cider vinegar.

Contact: Margaret Hills Clinic,  www.margarethillsclinic.com, 01926 854783

Cider Vinegar, by Margaret Hills, and Natural Ways to Treat Arthritis are published by Sheldon Press and are available from Nutricentre or Amazon – click on the ads.

It could be described as a panacea for all ills as cider vinegar can help you lose weight, treat and prevent arthritis and calm your digestive system.

Cider vinegar is an age-old remedy that really works for a variety of health problems. It is particularly recognised for soothing arthritis by changing the acid environment of the body. Like many acidic foods (such as citrus fruits) cider vinegar is alkaline in the body. Arthritis thrives in an acidic body, although citrus fruits are not good for arthritis.

It’s also good for the digestion, improving irritable bowel and constipation, can help to soothe bladder infections, headaches, migraine, and sore throats,and keep blood pressure at a healthy level. Because it’s not a medicine it is worth trying it to see if it works, but if problems are long-standing it won’t miraculously go away in a few days. So persist with the cider vinegar before meals for over four weeks before deciding it doesn’t work.

Cider vinegar is cheap (around £3 a bottle for organic), easy to take and available in the supermarket.

Margaret Hills was an expert on cider vinegar. When she was diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis at a very young age, and later on with osteoarthritis, she found that taking cider vinegar changed her life and made arthritis-free.

She opened the Margaret Hills Clinic, now run in Warwickshire by her daughter, Christine Horner, and she wrote several books about it. People can have face to face or telephone consultations for £65.

‘It is good for anything and I never go on holiday without my cider vinegar decanted into a plastic bottle. It helps to prevent upset stomachs on holiday, eases sore throats, and can be put directly onto sunburn or stings.’

Cider vinegar contains powerful enzymes that help digestion and the following minerals: potassium, phosphorus, magnesium, organic sodium, copper, iron, sulphur, cholorine, fluorine, silicon and other trace minerals, as well as malic acid which can fight body toxins. constipation, irritable bowel and indigestion), preventing and easing arthritis, bladder infections, headaches and migraines, sore throats, lowering blood pressure and keeping you slim.

Christine recommends that patients take a dessertspoonful of cider vinegar in a third to half a pint of water before meals three times a day, preferably mixed with honey. ‘The honey has plenty of health benefits too and it makes it more palatable. Never take it neat because it will upset your stomach.’ She also warns people who are on Warfarin to avoid any radical change of diet such as cider vinegar.

Contact: Margaret Hills Clinic,  www.margarethillsclinic.com, 01926 854783

Cider Vinegar, by Margaret Hills, and Natural Ways to Treat Arthritis are published by Sheldon Press and are available from Nutricentre or Amazon – click on the ads.