Have a healthy, pain-free life!
Welcome to the HLW Newsletter which provides accurate facts to enhance your knowledge. Enjoy the Recipe and Wellbeing Tips of the Month and see Upcoming Events. Send your questions about pain, nutrition, exercise, research. I exist to help you Have LifeLong WellBeing!
This edition will focus on Soy. Soy is one of the most controversial foods in our society today. Many say to stay away from it because it increases breast cancer risk. Others say it is unhealthy for children, especially young girls as it will affect puberty in a negative way. Let’s see what science reports as valid facts.
Soy is a phytoestrogen. Some health care professionals think that because soybeans contain phytoestrogens, women who have estrogen-positive breast cancers, or are at risk for developing them, should not eat soy foods. It is interesting to note: while women are told to avoid soy, they are not instructed to avoid other phytoestrogen-containing foods. There are hundreds of them and dairy is loaded with estrogen.
There are 3 classes of phytoestrogens:
• Isoflavones: soybeans and garbanzo beans
• Lignans: flax seeds and whole grain cereal
• Coumestans: clover, alfalfa and soybean sprouts.
Poorly constructed rodent studies have shown that isoflavones stimulate estrogen receptive breast cancer in ovariectomized, athymic mice (no ovaries or thymus gland); estrogen-dependent mammary tumors in rats, and reproductive tissues in adult female mice. Problems with this research:
• Most foods have different effects on animals than humans. Baby rats fed human breast milk, for example, die, but virtually no one disputes the superiority of human breast milk for human babies.
• Studies used doses of pure isoflavones at least 5 times the amount found in traditional Asian diets (often 8-16 times the amount).
• Many involved direct injection of unconjugated purified isoflavones, which is significantly different than dietary intake of soy foods.
Breast tissue is regulated by sex hormones, particularly estrogens and progesterones. Epithelial proliferation in breast tissue is used as a marker for the effects of hormone exposure, which is often evaluated using a marker called M1B1, a nuclear protein. M1B1 correlates with higher grades of carcinoma, higher rates of relapse and worse survival rates in patients with breast cancer. Four trials, two w/ breast cancer patients, one w/ healthy subjects, and one w/ women undergoing breast biopsy or surgery for breast cancer. Breast biopsies were taken before and after exposure to soy isoflavones or isolated soy protein. None showed an increase in breast epithelial cell proliferation.
5 studies, three of premenopausal women, one w/ postmenopausal women and one w/ a combination of both, showed no abnormal cell proliferation, and no evidence of increased breast tissue density.
Most Asian populations consistently consume soy foods, yet have significantly lower rates of breast cancer than Americans do. A study published in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute examined soy as an isolated factor in Japanese women and concluded that frequent soy consumption was associated with a reduced risk of breast cancer. American Journal of Clinical Nutrition concluded that soy intake during adolescence and adulthood may reduce pre-menopausal breast cancer risk by an average of 40%. Risk reduction was 59% for those with the highest soy intake, and 56% for adults with the highest soy isoflavone intake. The study involved 73,223 Chinese women. The researchers found that soy consumption was associated with reduced risk. Researchers reported “This large, population-based, prospective cohort study provides strong evidence of a protective effect of soy food intake against pre-menopausal breast cancer. Women who consumed a high amount of soy foods consistently during adolescence and adulthood had a substantially reduced risk of breast cancer.”
The science continues to show benefits, and no evidence of harm, attributed to soy consumption, even when that consumption is in the form of isolated nutrients extracted from soy. Isoflavones are phytoestrogens which appear to act as weak estrogens in rodent models, which has unnecessarily raised concern about the consumption of soy foods by human females. There is little evidence that soy foods have a clinically relevant negative effect on human breast health. There is evidence that a plant-based diet, which can include soy, provides a protective effect.
All women should be concerned with estrogen levels and the best way to lower estrogen levels is through diet and lifestyle. Eat a high fiber diet – fiber helps the body to eliminate excess estrogen. In the absence of enough dietary fiber, estrogen will be re-absorbed through the intestinal walls back into the blood stream, contributing to elevated estrogen levels.
• Consume a low-fat diet
• Exercise lowers estrogen levels
• Reduce body fat to ideal levels, since body fat increases the production of estrogen
“Frequently, women who are overweight, eat a terrible diet, and do not exercise, are concerned about preventing breast cancer or avoiding a recurrence, and are confused about whether or not to consume soy. Removing soy from the diet and not addressing the other issues listed above is like “rearranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.” In order to prevent breast cancer or to protect against a recurrence, ideal weight and body composition must be attained and dietary excellence and exercise are crucial. In that context, soy generally offers a protective rather than detrimental effect.” Dr. Pam Popper
To learn more join us for a Women’s Health Facts & Fun Day October 24. See events for more information.
Discover how to eliminate pain, the need for medications and regain your health. Contact Eileen Kopsaftis or call 518-496-1265 for a comprehensive pain/health consultation.
You deserve a long, healthy, pain-free life!
HLW Recipe of the Month: Fettucine Alfredo
Alfredo sauce is something you would never expect to be vegan, low fat, and still taste rich, creamy and delicious. Well, prepare to surprise your taste buds! Don’t tell anyone it’s healthy. Let them enjoy it
3 cups sauce (about 4 servings)
- 4 heaping cups cauliflower florets (1 medium head)
- 1 tablespoon minced garlic
- ½ cup non-dairy milk
- ¼ cup nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ¾ teaspoon sea salt, or to taste
- ½ teaspoon pepper, or to taste
- Fettuccine pasta (preferably whole grain)
Cover cauliflower florets with water and boil for 3-7 minutes until tender. Drain well. Sauté minced garlic over low heat (scant amount of water if sticking) for 4-5 minutes until softened and fragrant, but not browned. Blend all ingredients until a super smooth sauce forms. Pour the sauce back into the pot and add cooked, drained pasta. Heat if needed and salt again to taste.
Tips: Feel free to add in your favorite sautéed, roasted, or steamed veggies. Think peas, spinach, broccoli, asparagus, or red bell pepper. You can also use this sauce to pour over veggies or baked potatoes and forget the pasta. You could even use roasted garlic instead of minced and powdered. See below. I must admit, roasted garlic is my new favorite. What a flavor punch!
Remove any loose outside layers. Cut the tops off exposing each bulb. Lay face-down on an unbleached parchment paper lined baking sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 35 minutes, flipping halfway through. Remove from the oven and let cool for about 10-15 minutes. Begin peeling each clove slowly, starting with the outer layers and working your way inward. Or you can just squeeze out the garlic if using right away. Will keep fresh in fridge for a week in a sealed glass jar.
Serve spread on bread, mixed in sauces or topped on your favorite meals.
HLW Tip of the Month: Cook Once: Eat All Week
So many people report the same challenge. Due to work, family, and everything else that demands our attention, there is NO TIME to cook and eat well. This strategy may be just what your health goals ordered! I am thrilled that I came across this picture when searching for an appropriate visual. This blog was begun by a young woman I consulted with some time ago; Holly Yzquierdo. If you are interested in reading how her health was restored and her life changed forever go to myplantbasedfamily.com. Holly is open with her experience and even provides contact information for me so it is ok that I share her name with you.
So, the goal is to prepare a few delicious dishes on a weekend day, or a day off, and enjoy them all week. When I did my first cooking class I made 3 meals in a little under an hour. For full disclosure, I did have the veggies precut and premeasured so the class did not have to watch me chop; so it may take you up to 2 hours depending on how fast you are with a knife (or a food processor). If you are interested in checking it out I put it on you tube here. If you would like to attend a cooking class I am open to scheduling one that allows you to bring home meals for your week.
Here’s the cliff notes on how to do this:
• Pick 3-4 favorite recipes
• Ensure you have all ingredients before starting
• Prep all the veggies and pre measure everything
• Plan cooking by having pots out for each recipe and the timing of each for cooking
• Start the one that takes the longest first
• Plan containers or ziplocs ahead if you need to freeze or refrigerate
• Also plan which can be reinvented into something else for lunch the next day: think chili becomes a veggie wrap.
Cook once & eat all week to Have LifeLong WellBeing!