Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Food to Avoid During Pregnancy

What are the foods I should avoid during pregnancy?

Raw Meat
Uncooked seafood and rare or undercooked beef or poultry should be avoided because of the risk of contamination with coliform bacteria, toxoplasmosis, and salmonella.

Deli Meat
Deli meats have been known to be contaminated with listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which may be life-threatening. If you are pregnant and you are considering eating deli meats, make certain that you reheat the meat until it is steaming .

Fish with Mercury
Fish that contain high levels of mercury should be avoided. Mercury consumed during pregnancy has been linked to developmental delays and brain damage. A sample of these types of fish include: shark, swordfish, king mackerel, and tilefish. Canned, chunk light tuna generally has a lower amount of mercury than other tuna, but still should only be eaten in moderation. Certain types of fish used in sushi should also be avoided due to high levels of mercury. Please see Mercury in Fish for specific types of fish and further information on how to calculate mercury levels.

Smoked Seafood
Refrigerated, smoked seafood often labeled as lox, nova style, kippered, or jerky should be avoided because it could be contaminated with Listeria. (These are safe to eat when they are in an ingredient in a meal that has been cooked, like a casserole.) This type of fish is often found in the deli section of your grocery store. Canned or shelf-safe smoked seafood is usually OK to eat.

Fish Exposed to Industrial Pollutants
Avoid fish from contaminated lakes and rivers that may be exposed to high levels of polychlorinated biphenyls. This is primarily for those who fish in local lakes and streams. These fish include: bluefish, striped bass, salmon, pike, trout, and walleye. Contact the local health department or Environmental Protection Agency to determine which fish are safe to eat in your area. Remember, this is regarding fish caught in local waters and not fish from your local grocery store.

Raw Shellfish
The majority of seafood-borne illness is caused by undercooked shellfish, which include oysters, clams, and mussels. Cooking helps prevent some types of infection, but it does not prevent the algae-related infections that are associated with red tides. Raw shellfish pose a concern for everybody, and they should be avoided altogether during pregnancy.

Raw Eggs: Raw eggs or any foods that contain raw eggs should be avoided because of the potential exposure to salmonella. Some homemade Caesar dressings, mayonnaise, homemade ice cream or custards, and Hollandaise sauces may be made with raw eggs.

If the recipe is cooked at some point, this will reduce the exposure to salmonella. Commercially manufactured ice cream, dressings, and eggnog are made with pasteurized eggs and do not increase the risk of salmonella. Restaurants should be using pasteurized eggs in any recipe that is made with raw eggs, such as Hollandaise sauce or dressings.

Soft Cheeses: Imported soft cheeses may contain bacteria called Listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which can be life-threatening. You would need to avoid soft cheeses such as: Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, Feta, Gorgonzola and Mexican style cheeses that include queso blanco and queso fresco, unless they clearly state that they are made from pasteurized milk. All soft non-imported cheeses made with pasteurized milk are safe to eat.

Un pasteurized Milk
Un pasteurized milk may contain a bacteria called listeria, which can cause miscarriage. Listeria has the ability to cross the placenta and may infect the baby leading to infection or blood poisoning, which can be life-threatening. Make sure that any milk you drink is pasteurized.

Refrigerated pate or meat spreads should be avoided because they may contain the bacteria listeria. Canned pate, or shelf-safe meat spreads can be eaten.

Although most studies show that caffeine intake in moderation is OK, there are others that show that caffeine intake may be related to miscarriages. Avoid caffeine during the first trimester to reduce the likelihood of a miscarriage. As a general rule, caffeine should be limited to fewer than 200 mg per day during pregnancy. Caffeine is a diuretic, which means it helps eliminate fluids from the body. This can result in water and calcium loss. It is important that you are drinking plenty of water, juice, and milk rather than caffeinated beverages. Some research shows that large amounts of caffeine are associated with miscarriage, premature birth, low birth weight, and withdrawal symptoms in infants. The safest thing is to refrain from consuming caffeine.

There is NO amount of alcohol that is known to be safe during pregnancy, and therefore alcohol should be avoided during pregnancy. Prenatal exposure to alcohol can interfere with the healthy development of the baby. Depending on the amount, timing, and pattern of use, alcohol consumption during pregnancy can lead to Fetal Alcohol Syndrome or other developmental disorders. If you consumed alcohol before you knew you were pregnant, stop drinking now. You should continue to avoid alcohol during breastfeeding. Exposure of alcohol to an infant poses harmful risks, and alcohol does reach the baby during breastfeeding.

Unwashed Vegetables
Yes, vegetables are safe to eat, so you still need to eat them. However, it is essential to make sure they are washed to avoid potential exposure to toxoplasmosis. Toxoplasmosis may contaminate the soil where the vegetables were grown.


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Friday, November 18, 2011

Some Facts about McDonald

Mcy Ds fries taste so good because they are fried then flash frozen while still in the factory, then when at the Mcy Ds location they are fried once again and coated with a salt/sugar mixture. it makes the fries addictive so you come back for more.

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Ban the Use of Carbide Gas to Ripen Fruits

A survey by CAP shows that Malaysians are consuming toxic fruits which are ripened by a hazardous chemical, calcium carbide. This poses great health risks to consumers.

Calcium carbide has cancer-causing properties and is capable of causing neurological disorders. It can result in tingling sensation, numbness and peripheral neuropathy. If pregnant women consume fruit ripened with carbide, the children born could develop abnormalities.

The use of calcium carbide is not only toxic to consumers, it may also be harmful to those who handle it. It affects the neurological system, resulting in headache, dizziness, mood disturbances, sleepiness, mental confusion and seizures on a short-term basis, while in the long-term it can cause memory loss and cerebral oedema.

The use of carbide gas from calcium carbide to ripen fruits is extremely hazardous to the human body as calcium carbide also contains traces of arsenic and phosphorus. The practice of ripening fruits using carbide is banned in many other countries but it is freely used in Malaysia.

We are shocked that the Ministry of Agriculture and Primary Industries and the Ministry of Health had not curbed this widespread health problem despite CAP raising this commonly-known problem since 1975 -- over 36 years ago! The Ministry of Agriculture and Primary Industries should not be just promoting agricultural productivity, but it should more importantly, ensure the production of healthy agricultural produce. What is the point of producing more agricultural products that is unsafe to be eaten? The encouragement of the use of pesticides, chemical fertilisers and other chemical inputs by the Ministry of Agriculture and Primary Industries must be stopped.

In our survey, we found fruit farmers and wholesalers rampantly using carbide gas to ripen a variety of fruits such as bananas, mangoes, pineapples and papayas. Calcium carbide is also easily available in rural shops at RM5.50 per kilogram. The packaging showed pictures of various fruits that can be ripened by the calcium carbide.

According to a farmer, he uses about 200 grams of calcium carbide to ripen 30 kilograms of mangoes. The calcium carbide is wrapped in newspaper and placed in an enclosed box filled with the mangoes.

A “goreng pisang” (banana fritters) seller says he buys cheap immature bananas from damaged trees and then placed the banana in a box together with some calcium blocks. Within 24 hours all the bananas will be ripened at the same time.

In natural conditions, fruits get ripened by the action of a ripening hormone in the fruit which produces ethylene naturally. The use of calcium carbide is dangerous as it produces acetylene gas which is flammable and explosive even at a low concentration as compared to ethylene.

When calcium carbide is used for artificial ripening, a chemical reaction takes place because of the moisture content in the fruit. Heat and acetylene gas are produced and the ripening process is hastened. However, fruits ripened with calcium carbide are soft and have good peel/skin colour but poor in flavour. They also have a shorter shelf-life. An artificially ripened banana would present a yellow outer skin, but the flesh inside may not be ripe and remains green and raw.

During natural ripening, a wide spectrum of biochemical changes takes place such chlorophyll degradation, biosynthesis of carotenoids (antioxidants, immune system booster, anti-cancer agent), anthocyanins (powerful antioxidants), essential oils, and flavour and aroma components. But all these healthy chemical changes which enhance the quality of the fruit are lost with artificial ripening. Besides being toxic, artificially-ripened fruits are less nutritious.

In India the use of calcium carbide to induce ripening is banned under the Prevention of Food Adulteration Act, and offenders are liable to face a six-month imprisonment and fines.

In view of the toxic effects of artificially-ripened fruits by calcium carbide, CAP calls on the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Agriculture and Primary Industries to ban its use.

Meanwhile consumers are advised to observe the following when buying fruits:

1. Do not choose fruits that are attractive on the outside as they may not be good for health. Fruits that have a uniform colour, for example, a bunch of bananas having a uniform colour, are more likely to have been artificially ripened.

2. Wash the fruits thoroughly before consuming. Keep them under running water for a few minutes, so that the chemicals are washed away.

3. Do not buy fruits sold during their off season, as they are more likely to be artificially ripened.

4. While eating mangoes and papayas, always remove the peel before cutting fruits into pieces.