Tuesday 22 April 2014

The dangers of margerine

Polyunsaturated margarine became a major part of the Western diet and had overtaken butter in popularity in the mid-20th century. Despite their best efforts, the margarine lobby has failed to convince most people that their synthetic concoctions are healthy. So what is not obvious to most of the people who consume it? The manufacturing process of course, which is very similar to the way plastic is produced.

Did you know that numerous types of margarine carry the approved recommendations and seal of agencies that also promote cardiovascular health, such as heart and stroke foundations? 


Manufacturing Process

The basic method of making margarine today consists of emulsifying a blend of vegetable oils and fats, which can be modified using fractionation, interesterification, and/or hydrogenation of plant fats, chilling the mixture to solidify it and working it to improve the texture. Those fats that are liquid at room temperature are oils. 

The oils are hydrogenated by passing hydrogen through the oil in the presence of a nickel catalyst. The addition of hydrogen effectively increases the melting point of the oil and thus "hardening" it. Margarines made in this way contain hydrogenated fat. If some of the chemical bonds aren't hydrogenated during the process, they will still be present in the final margarine in molecules of trans fats the consumption of which has been shown to be a risk factor for cardiovascular disease. 

To boost its health profile, modern margarines are making their products from wide variety of animal or vegetable fats, mixed with skim milk, and emulsifiers, such as soy lecithin to help disperse the water phase evenly throughout the oil, and preservatives are also commonly added.

The margarine industry has also taken to promoting the fact it's low in saturated fat, a thinly veiled jab at butter. 
But growing evidence is now firmly establishing that saturated fat may not be a problem at all. A false interpretation of scientific studies has led to millions being "over-medicated" with statin drugs due to the proliferation of myths in the medical community regarding the role of saturated fat in heart disease.

Actually butter contains many nutrients that protect us from heart disease. First among these is vitamin A which is needed for the health of the thyroid and adrenal glands, both of which play a role in maintaining the proper functioning of the heart and cardiovascular system. Abnormalities of the heart and larger blood vessels occur in babies born to vitamin A deficient mothers. Butter was and is still is recognized by many as the most easily absorbed source of vitamin A.

Butter contains lecithin, a substance that assists in the proper assimilation and metabolism of cholesterol and other fat constituents.
Butter also contains a number of anti-oxidants that protect against the kind of free radical damage that weakens the arteries. Vitamin A and vitamin E found in butter both play a strong anti-oxidant role. Butter is a very rich source of selenium, a vital anti-oxidant--containing more per gram than herring or wheat germ.

Why You Should Avoid Margarine, Shortening and Spreads

There are a myriad of unhealthy components to margarine and other butter imposters, including:
Trans fats: These unnatural fats in margarine, shortenings and spreads are formed during the process of hydrogenation, which turns liquid vegetable oils into a solid fat

Trans fats contribute to heart disease, cancer, bone problems, hormonal imbalance and skin disease; infertility, difficulties in pregnancy and problems with lactation; and low birth weight, growth problems and learning disabilities in children.
A U.S. government panel of scientists determined that man-made trans fats are unsafe at any level. (Small amounts of natural trans fats occur in butter and other animal fats, but these are not harmful.)

Free radicals: Free radicals and other toxic breakdown products are the result of high temperature industrial processing of vegetable oils. They contribute to numerous health problems, including cancer and heart disease.

Synthetic vitamins: Synthetic vitamin A and other vitamins are added to margarine and spreads. These often have an opposite (and detrimental) effect compared to the natural vitamins in butter.

Emulsifiers and preservatives: Numerous additives of questionable safety are added to margarines and spreads. Most vegetable shortening is stabilized with preservatives like BHT.
Hexane and other solvents: Used in the extraction process, these industrial chemicals can have toxic effects.

Bleach: The natural color of partially hydrogenated vegetable oil is grey so manufacturers bleach it to make it white. Yellow coloring is then added to margarine and spreads.
Artificial flavors: These help mask the terrible taste and odor of partially hydrogenated oils, and provide a fake butter taste.

Mono- and di-glycerides: These contain trans fats that manufacturers do not have to list on the label. They are used in high amounts in so-called "low-trans" spreads.

Soy protein isolate: This highly processed powder is added to "low-trans" spreads to give them body. It can contribute to thyroid dysfunction, digestive disorders and many other health problems.

Sterols: Often added to spreads to give them cholesterol-lowering qualities, these estrogen compounds can cause endocrine problems; in animals these sterols contribute to sexual inversion.

As you can see we must avoid margarine at all times.

I recommend a light scraping of organic butter on your bread/toast. Be careful  when cooking with butter. When it turns brown that means it has oxidised and has become toxic.

Saturday 5 April 2014

                                      Music as a healer. 

                           Analogue sound recordings versus digital.

Through eons of time, music, song and chant have always been used to heal.Music is one of the great healers, and throughout recorded history the shaman, the priests, the Greeks, the Hebrews and all the indigenous peoples of the world have recognised the deep healing benefits of music, chant, and song.

 Since the advent of computers and binary language, music has been recorded in binary form or digital eg.01010011010, a series of ones and zeros.

Those of us that can remember vinyls,turntables,etc music and song was recorded in an analogue format.Analogue sound is recorded in a wave form onto vinyl or magnetic tape.To record it onto a CD or DVD, it is converted into binary language i.e. digitalized.
 It is in this process of digitalization that something is ‘lost.’

 Over a number of years I’ve when working with musicians they say something is ‘missing’ in a digitalized recording.They use phrases like “a depth is lost”,”a relaxing quality is missing”,’a warmth is lost”,digital recordings are “cold” “empty” “a richness is missing.”

Children are especially aware of this, they know instinctively what’s “good” for them.(Sadly there is a whole generation of children/young adults who have never experienced analogue sound, having only listened to digitalized sound).

As a Chiropractor and Applied Kinesiologist(AK) I use a very subtle form of the standard AK muscle test to evaluate the neural network and also  the Chi energy that runs through the Chinese meridian system.

This is the system of evaluation I use to determine the benefits or not of digital/analogue sound.The muscle would show to be inhibited(“weak”) if the recorded music was detrimental to the listener.
Sound is not just heard by the ears as music, it is also”felt”by the body, via the Chinese meridian system.For example, if you listened to an analogue sound recording of a Beethoven symphony (a composer of deep love and compassion) conducted by Furtwangler(a deeply loving human being) it will immediately lift up your Chi energy, de-stress the meridian and neurological systems and you will feel more content and relaxed.It will be an excellent therapy for you, as music should be.Play a digitalized recording of the same music and it will not have the same beneficial affect!
Sound engineers are aware of this problem and have identified it in the pulse code modulation(PCM).One for the more technical among you!

I know its not the answer to replace all our CD’s for vinyl, yet all is not lost.I have found it of therapeutic value to use rose quartz crystals, air ionisers and green plants around tv sets, cd players etc.Singing along to the music helps.Making your own music, take singing lessons, learn to play a musical instrument all are of great benefit in counter acting modern stress. 

The above graph illustrates the difference between analogue sound recordings and digital sound recordings. The red line is a waveform of analogue and the angular,sharp,box like edges are the digital recordings.