The most prominent and successful media portals of disinformation are those that mix it up. That is, they skillfully and often disproportionately interweave established truths to hold the reader's confidence, while directly or indirectly interjecting falsities into the same stream of thought. The EatingWell Media Group has done a phenomenal job exemplifying this art with their latest piece of junk journalism titled "The 13 Biggest Nutrition and Food Myths Busted."
Their article tackles controversial topics such as high fructose corn syrup (HFCS) and microwave radiation and dismisses their dangers as misinformation.
The contributing editor of EatingWell, Joyce Hendley, who authored the article ironically states "the most persistent nutrition myths are those that contain at least a kernel of truth." We couldn't have said it better ourselves.
Here's a play-by-play on the blatant lies the author promotes as truths:
HIGH-FRUCTOSE CORN SYRUP (HFCS)
Although Hendley attempts to promote the nutritional value and health of eggs (which is great), she goes about it while inserting statements about fat and cholesterol which are largely unproven.
"Cholesterol is the fatty stuff in our blood that contributes to clogged arteries and heart attacks."
The chief heart-disease culprits are “saturated and trans fats, which have much greater impact on raising blood cholesterol,” notes Kris-Etherton.
Any food editor should be well aware that despite dozens of studies (sponsored by Bigpharma mind you), cholesterol has never been proven to contribute to clogged arteries or heart attacks. To the contrary, cholesterol is vital to our survival, and trying to artificially lower it can have detrimental effects, particularly as we age.
The chief heart-disease culprits are certainly not saturated fats and the demonization of them has always been unfounded.
Read Putting The Myth To Rest:
There Is No Such Thing As Bad Cholesterol.
The Good: Promoting the fact that eggs are not evil.
Disinformation: Promoting that cholesterol and saturate fat are culprits.
If you're a health conscious consumer, chances are you're well aware of the harmful effects of high-fructose corn syrup and its malicious integration in popular food items.
"In studies that compare the effects of HFCS with other sweeteners, HFCS and sucrose have very similar effects on blood levels of insulin, glucose, triglycerides and satiety hormones. In short, it seems to be no worse—but also no better—than sucrose, or table sugar."
All the studies ever completed on comparing HFCS to sucrose have only had lean test subjects. There is a very good reason for that because the manufacturers of HFCS know very well that its properties do not react the same way in lean people as they do in overweight and obese individuals or in those who have compromised insulin responses such as diabetics.
A Princeton University research team demonstrated that rats with access to high-fructose corn syrup gained significantly more weight than those with access to table sugar, even when their overall caloric intake was the same.
In addition to causing significant weight gain in lab animals, long-term consumption of high-fructose corn syrup also led to abnormal increases in body fat, especially in the abdomen, and a rise in circulating blood fats called triglycerides.
A report in the 2009 March issue of Cell Metabolism also suggests that insulin resistance can come from diets with HFCS. Specifically, fructose-induced insulin resistance and three-fold increase in glucose uptake in fat tissue were found in this study.
According to two U.S. studies last year, almost half of tested samples of commercial high-fructose corn syrup contained mercury, which was also found in nearly a third of 55 popular brand-name food and beverage products where HFCS is the first- or second-highest labeled ingredient.
Sucrose has not been found to contain mercury, does not induce significant weight gain like HFCS and does not cause abnormal increases in body fat or triglycerides. So on what planet is HFCS not worse than sucrose?
Promoting that sugars as a whole are detrimental to health.
Promoting the myth that HFCS is not worse than sucrose.
Believe it or not, but Hendley then attempts to praise microwave radiation. She references two Ph.Ds who make statements about microwaves which contradict almost every independent study that has ever examined the nutritional relationship between microwaves and food.
"microwaves used to cook foods are many, many times weaker than X-rays and gamma rays, says Robert Brackett, Ph.D., director of the National Center for Food Safety and Technology at the Illinois Institute of Technology. And the types of changes that occur in microwaved food as it cooks are “from heat generated inside the food, not the microwaves themselves,” says Brackett. “Microwave cooking is really no different from any other cooking method that applies heat to food.”
"This is misguided thinking, says Carol Byrd-Bredbenner, Ph.D., R.D., professor of nutrition at Rutgers University in New Brunswick, New Jersey. Whether you’re using a microwave, a charcoal grill or a solar-heated stove, “it’s the heat and the amount of time you’re cooking that affect nutrient losses, not the cooking method,” she says. “The longer and hotter you cook a food, the more you’ll lose certain heat- and water-sensitive nutrients, especially vitamin C and thiamin [a B vitamin].” Because microwave cooking often cooks foods more quickly, it can actually help to minimize nutrient losses."
The Soviet Union banned the use of microwaves in 1976 for a reason. They are lethal in every sense. Microwaves leaking radiation is a serious issue. Serious enough for the FDA to set legal limits on the leakage permitted by every microwave manufacturer. However, the only way to completely eliminate the radiation dangers associated with microwaves is not to use one. Microwave radiation has been known to cause cataracts, birth defects, cancer and other serious illnesses.
Brackett's statement that microwaves are many times weaker than X-rays or gamma rays is completely ridiculous in the sense that he attempts to validate or at least insinuate that weaker dosages of a lethal type of radiation are somehow healthier for a human body.
In Dr. Lita Lee's book, Health Effects of Microwave Radiation -- Microwave Ovens, and in the March and September 1991 issues of Earthletter, she stated that every microwave oven leaks electro-magnetic radiation, harms food, and converts substances cooked in it to dangerous organ-toxic and carcinogenic products.
In Comparative Study of Food Prepared Conventionally and in the Microwave Oven, published by Raum & Zelt in 1992, at 3(2): 43, it states:
"Artificially produced microwaves, including those in ovens, are produced from alternating current and force a billion or more polarity reversals per second in every food molecule they hit. Production of unnatural molecules is inevitable. Naturally occurring amino acids have been observed to undergo isomeric changes (changes in shape morphing) as well as transformation into toxic forms, under the impact of microwaves produced in ovens."
There are no atoms, molecules or cells of any organic system able to withstand such a violent, destructive power for any extended period of time, not even in the low energy range of milliwatts. Microwaves quickly destroy the delicate molecules of vitamins and phytonutrients (plant medicines) naturally found in foods. One study showed that microwaving vegetables destroys up to 97% of the nutritional content (vitamins and other plant-based nutrients that prevent disease, boost immune function and enhance health).
Dr. Hertel was the first scientist to conceive and carry out a quality clinical study on the effects microwaved nutrients have on the blood and physiology of the human body. His small but well controlled study showed the degenerative force produced in microwave ovens and the food processed in them. The scientific conclusion showed that microwave cooking changed the nutrients in the food; and, changes took place in the participants' blood that could cause deterioration in the human system. Hertel's scientific study was done along with Dr. Bernard H. Blanc of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology and the University Institute for Biochemistry.
Of all the natural substances -- which are polar -- the oxygen of water molecules reacts most sensitively. This is how microwave cooking heat is generated -- friction from this violence in water molecules. Structures of molecules are torn apart, molecules are forcefully deformed, called structural isomerism, and thus become impaired in quality. This is contrary to conventional heating of food where heat transfers convectionally from without to within. Cooking by microwaves begins within the cells and molecules where water is present and where the energy is transformed into frictional heat.
The following is a summary of the Russian investigations published by the Atlantis Raising Educational Center in Portland, Oregon:
- Microwaving prepared meats sufficiently to insure sanitary ingestion caused formation of d-Nitrosodienthanolamines, a well-known carcinogen.
- - Microwaving milk and cereal grains converted some of their amino acids into carcinogens.
- Thawing frozen fruits converted their glucoside and galactoside containing fractions into carcinogenic substances.
- Extremely short exposure of raw, cooked or frozen vegetables converted their plant alkaloids into carcinogens.
- Carcinogenic free radicals were formed in microwaved plants, especially root vegetables.
Russian researchers also reported a marked acceleration of structural degradation leading to a decreased food value of 60 to 90% in all foods tested. Among the changes observed were:
- Deceased bio-availability of vitamin B complex, vitamin C, vitamin E, essential minerals and lipotropics factors in all food tested.
- Various kinds of damaged to many plant substances, such as alkaloids, glucosides, galactosides and nitrilosides.
- The degradation of nucleo-proteins in meats.
The above completely invalidates Brackett's statement regarding the differences in cooking between microwaves and other cooking methods. It also discredits Carol Byrd-Bredbenner's ludicrous claim that microwave cooking can actually help to minimize nutrient losses.
Promoting the myth that microwaves are not harmful to human health.
In this era of lies and deceit it is vitally important that we expose disinformation as it arises in any form of media. Complacency to such brazenly obvious errors in journalistic research will only lead to further incompetence ignoring all evidence classes including scientific, pragmatic, historical and empirical.
At the very least, the above segments in Joyce Hendley's article are a complete embarrassment to any author or media outlet that advocates health and wellness. However irresponsible it may be, whether the disinformation was intentional or not is a great question. Only Hendley knows, but if it was not intentional, our only statement to this author is "do more research before you publish!"
Marco Torres is a research specialist, writer and consumer advocate for healthy lifestyles. He holds degrees in Public Health and Environmental Science and is a professional speaker on topics such as disease prevention, environmental toxins and health policy.