Is there anything that can be put in your grocery shopping cart?
A study in the “Journal of the American Medical Association,” as reported by USA Today, has found that taking fish oil supplements rich in omega-3 fatty acids doesn’t appear to have a significant effect on preventing strokes, heart attacks or even death.
This comes on top of all the other recent reports calling into question the vitamins and minerals we take and the foods we eat.
If there’s any consolation it is that at least those fish oil tablets didn’t taste bad, the way taking cod liver oil in liquid form on a spoon once did. And Richard Karas, director of the preventive cardiology center at Tufts Medical Center in Boston, said that at least the fish oil supplements aren’t bad for you, even if they don’t help you. Oh, that’s good news. We have to find a silver lining somewhere.
The theories seem to change with the wind. Researchers are now reporting that diets naturally high in vitamin C and E appear to reduce the risk of heart disease, but that corresponding supplements don’t. Same thing with calcium. A German study reported by ABC News found that while calcium-rich foods were fine, calcium tablets were another story. German men and women between the ages of 35 and 64 who were part of the study were 86 percent more likely to have a heart attack if they regularly took calcium tablets than if they did not.
Then there are the foods we eat. Let’s take the egg. First we were told to stop eating eggs because they were high in cholesterol. Then we were told that eggs were fine in moderation, and we heard all the “incredible edible egg” propaganda from the poultry industry. However, then came a study from Canadian researchers, as reported by the huffingtonpost.com, that found eating egg yolks after the age of 40 can be almost as damaging to the arteries as smoking cigarettes.
Independent researchers have been battling the corn industry for years over the safety and the merits of high fructose corn syrup, also known as corn sugar. High fructose corn syrup is in just about everything from cookies to soft drinks to certain breakfast cereals to ketchup to cranberry sauce to bread to applesauce. Many scientists and medical professionals think high fructose corn syrup is a major contributor to such maladies as diabetes and obesity, and recommend people lower their intake of this relatively new form of sugar. But high fructose corn syrup is so ubiquitous that it is even in foods people would never suspect.
Heavy consumption of salt, sugar, red meat, dairy products, fried foods, processed foods and fast foods has long been suspected of causing or exacerbating illnesses and shortening lives. But now we are being told that even things like simple carbohydrates are things we should cut down on if not avoid completely. These would include white rice, white bread and pasta.
When you think you can take sanctuary in eating fish, you are told that too much garbage and pollution have been dumped into our waters and the fish now contain mercury.
The advice being given leaves us on one big merry-go-round. We are told something is bad for us, then the industry involved fights back and says it’s good for us. Then we’re told again it’s bad for us.
A meteorologist dealing with the inexact nature of weather forecasting is on sounder footing than those researchers giving advice on nutrition and diet. We get nothing but conflicting reports and many people conducting studies on foods and vitamin supplements have a vested interest in the outcome. Do you really think if the dairy industry authorizes a study, that the result will come back saying milk, cheese and butter are bad for us?
So we ask again. Is there anything that can be put in your grocery shopping cart?